“Of course I’m upset,” the 47-year-old told PEOPLE Now on Thursday. “But I’m not upset over everything that’s happening in terms of who decides to do what — whether you kneel, take a knee or lock arms — I’m upset that the president of the United States used that language.”
During a rally speech in Alabama last Friday, Trump stated, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out, you’re fired.”
Latifah told PEOPLE Now that “I [take] offense to him saying ‘sons of bitches.’ I take offense to him calling women ‘bitches.’ I take offense to his attitude about women period.”
“I think he owes an apology to Colin Kaerpernick’s mother and any other woman who’s had to hear him say that,” she continued, referring to the former NFL quarterback who sparked the movement last year when he chose to kneel during the national anthem.
“He should apologize to even the people who support him because he’s the president — he should not use such vulgar language. I don’t care if you’re kinda whipping up the crowd and cheering them, it’s just classless,” added Latifah.
“It’s classless, it’s tacky and it’s not something the president of this country should be doing. He’s supposed to be the leader, not a follower, and that’s just kinda like go with the crowd kinda thing,” Latifah continued. “It’s not sexy, not sexy at all. You get slapped over using those words you know, normally — if somebody said that to him or someone he cared about then he would take high offensive to it so he shouldn’t be able to use that towards somebody else.”
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Players from teams including the Baltimore Ravens, Jacksonville Jaguars, Arizona Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys all joined in taking a knee or linking arms during “The Star-Spangled Banner” following Trump‘s comments, which he reiterated in a series of follow-up tweets.
Numerous celebrities — including Diddy — have also joined in standing behind the players, causing a resurgence of the #TakeAKnee hashtag on social media.
On Thursday morning, Trump again doubled down on his comments, stating during an appearance on Fox & Friends that NFL owners are “afraid of their players.”