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Trump slams National Football League for not forcing players to stand for USA anthem
22 October 2017, 12:59 | Katrina Lee
Giants John Mara Most fans demand players stand for national anthem
"The NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem", Trump said. The protests had mostly fizzled out until last month, when Trump reignited the issue by decrying any player who kneeled during the anthem as a "son of a bitch" who should be fired.
In a tweet on Wednesday, the U.S. president upped the ante in his fight with the NFL players kneeling down during the national anthem to decry police brutality against minorities, particularly African Americans in the United States. "Add your name below to show your patriotism and support", the petition read. "It does not say how many signatures it has garnered so far", The Hill reports.
President Donald Trump ramped things up several weeks ago when he said during a rally speech in Alabama that National Football League owners should fire players who take a knee for the anthem.
While there were reports that league commissioner Goodell was considering the move, he simply released a statement saying that players "should" stand for the anthem, but didn't institute any rule change. The Sunday after Trump's comments, more than 200 players took a knee during the national anthem. I think we also have to keep focus on this - we have about six or seven players that are involved with this protest at this point. Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick launched the protests in 2016, refusing to stand for the national anthem to draw attention to racial injustice and police brutality.
While the president and the league appeared to have reached a stalemate, some fans have said they are heeding Trump's calls to boycott games while the kneeling continues, which Trump has said is unpatriotic and an insult to the country's military veterans.
He said the players "will state to you, and they have stated to everyone publicly, they are not doing this in any way to be disrespectful to the flag", Goodell said.
New Orleans players kneel during the American anthem.
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