UPDATE 3:45 P.M.:
President Donald Trump launched another jab at the NFL and how its handling the player protests, this time at commissioner Roger Goodell.
"Roger Goodell of NFL just put out a statement trying to justify the total disrespect certain players show to our country.Tell them to stand!," Trump tweeted Saturday afternoon.
Goodell was responding to Trump's comments made at a rally Friday night calling on team owners to fire players that kneel during the National Anthem. Goodell called Trump's comments "divisive" and an "an unfortunate lack of respect." MORE BELOW...
(KGTV) -- President Donald Trump leveled harsh words at NFL team owners Friday night saying they should fire players for taking a knee during the National Anthem.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!’” the president said.
Trump made his comments during 90-minute speech at a rally for Alabama Republican Senate candidate Luther Strange in which he promised to build a "see-through wall" along the U.S.-Mexico border, continued to taunt North Korea's leader calling him "Little Rocket Man," and described his tax reform plan as "the biggest tax cut."
Trump also encouraged the raucous audience to boycott the NFL by leaving the stadium or turning off the television whenever a player is spotted protesting.
"When people like yourselves turn on television and you see those people taking the knee when they are playing our great national anthem – the only thing you could do better is if you see it, even if it's one player, leave the stadium," Trump said. "I guarantee things will stop," he said.
Several NFL players lambasted Trump on Twitter, some saying the president should stay out of sports and stick to politics.
"Trump stay in ur place... football have nothing to do wit u smh," said Washington Redskins linebacker Zach Brown.
"It's a shame and disgrace when you have the President of the US calling citizens of the country sons of a bitches," said Minnesota Vikings running back Bishop Sankey.
And, as the NFL is working to prevent concussions and serious long-term injuries to players, Trump suggested that referees are "ruining the game" by penalizing players who “hit too hard.”
"Today, if you hit too hard, 15 yards, throw him out of the game," Trump said. "They are ruining the game, right?"
The head of the NFL Players Association responded Saturday saying Trump's threats will not stop the association from protecting players who choose to kneel during the pre-game National Anthem or working to assure player safety.
“Whether or not [NFL commissioner] Roger [Goodell] and the owners will speak for themselves about their views on player rights and their commitment to player safety remains to be seen,” NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said in a statement.
"The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture. There is no better example than the amazing response from our clubs and players to the terrible natural disasters we've experienced over the last month. Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities," Goodell said in a statement.