Trump: NFL business is going to hell

Updated: 

United States president Donald Trump's discredit of the NFL rages on.

Trump recently sparked outrage after he lashed out at NFL players for choosing to kneel during the national anthem.

In response, NFL players and even some team owners across the country knelt or linked arms during the anthem to protest racial inequality and police brutality.

While leaving the White House for a trip to Indiana on Wednesday, Trump said he believes the end could be near for the league if it does not get its protesting players under control.

"I think the NFL is in a box; I think they're in a really bad box," Trump told reporters, via ESPN.

"You look what's happening with their ratings, frankly, the only thing doing well in the NFL is the pre-game because everybody wants to see what's going on.

"You cannot have people disrespecting our national anthem, our flag, our country, and that's what they're doing. And in my opinion, the NFL has to change. Or you know what's going to happen? Their business is going to hell."

On the other hand, the NFL announced on Tuesday that television ratings for week three games were up three per cent across all match-ups from 2016.

Earlier last week, Trump struck a nerve with other athletes when he tweeted that NBA champions the Golden State Warriors' invitation to visit the White House had been withdrawn after "hesitation" by star Stephen Curry about whether the team should go.

Curry, coach Steve Kerr, and other Warriors players have been outspoken in their criticism of Trump.

Stanley Cup champions the Pittsburgh Penguins, however, will visit the White House on October 10.