Trump steps up attack on National Football League with new anthem protests petition

Pauline Gross
October 22, 2017

"The NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem".

That announcement came at a meeting of team owners in NY in the wake of the ongoing protest controversy, which stems from free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick's original protest of racial injustice by taking a knee last season during pregame performances of the national anthem.

In a tweet on Wednesday, the USA 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.

Almost 150 NFL players defiantly took a knee during the national anthem at their games Sunday while hundreds of other grid stars locked arms with their coaches - and even some team owners - in protest of President Trump, who had ripped the league over the weekend [9/24]. Trump waded back into the anthem controversy with an early morning tweet after National Football League team owners and player representatives met in NY on Tuesday.

The NFL and NFLPA released a statement Tuesday describing the meeting as "productive" and a step in the right direction to "promote positive social change and address inequality". 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. We're going to continue to encourage them to stand. 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.

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Donald Trump is continuing his attack on players who protest during the national anthem.

"We're not afraid of the tough conversations", he said.

The president has called the protests disrespectful, and has urged supporters to walk out of games when players kneel during the anthem. Polls have found that a majority of Americans disapprove of the anthem protests but are unhappy with the way Trump has handled the issue. "That's what we're having with our players".

The petition came days after NFL team owners, executives and players met in NY, where they decided that the league would not implement a rule forcing players to stand for "The Star-Spangled Banner". Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said any of his players kneeling during the anthem risked being benched.

Other reports by GizPress

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