NBC Sports commentator Bob Costas has a suggestion for athletes who want to protest: Stand for the national anthem then take a knee.

Speaking to CNN's Michael Smerconish on Saturday, Costas offered his "humble suggestion" as a " fortunate white man" to who he said were primarily African-American citizens involved in the protests.

"The idea of linking protests, no matter how legitimate the issue you are protesting, directly to the national anthem is not just offensive to the love it or leave it crowd," Costas said. "It actually causes ambivalent feelings, at best, among many people who are sympathetic to the issue, but see the anthem as representing a lot of different things including the country's ideals and aspirations. So, to me, perhaps the most effective thing to do would be to stand for the national anthem, but the second the last note is struck, take a knee."

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began the kneeling trend last season when he took a knee during the national anthem to protest the treatment of African Americans and other minorities in the U.S.

President Trump brought those protests back to the national spotlight when he repeatedly levied his opposition to national anthem kneeling in the NFL over the past week, leading to a widespread display of protests by players last weekend and wall-to-wall media coverage.

Costas said this is a time where networks are going to cover the national anthem of every game, when typically they wouldn't, except for big games like the Super Bowl.

"Now, you're going to see it. You'll have the same audience. The same set of eyeballs. It would be a powerful statement from these players, most of who have emphasized when they've been interviewed that they love their country, the military, okay," Costas said.