Trump releases petition for anthem standing: 'show patriotism'

Eli Harold Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reed kneel during the national anthem before a NFL game. Protests have reached down to the college level as students reconcile with divisive language

Goodell - and anyone who has been paying attention since former San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick started the protest in 2016 - knows why the protests are happening.

In a later tweet, Trump suggested action needed to be taken in response to the large number of players who continue to protest during the national anthem.

Goodell said as much in his careful, political way, saying, "We believe everyone should stand for the national anthem", but defending players who seek to express themselves as they see fit.

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

We are fully aware that in this culture war he has cynically escalated, Trump has the support of millions of fans, who just want the multi-millionaires on their teams to stand up, put their hands on heart, and sing.




This follows repeated back-and-forth between the President and the NFL and NFL players over protests during the National Anthem. " wrote Mr. Trump in a tweet early in the morning". It alienates too many patriotic people of good will who bristle at what they perceive as disrespect of the country's basic symbols. It is an important moment in our game. The NFL stopped short of meeting Trump's desire that players be forced to stop protesting. 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.

Following Trump's comments at the rally and on Twitter, players from nearly every NFL team knelt or stood with their arms locked during the national anthem. "We did not ask for that", Goodell said. "We want our players to stand. That's been my philosophy with my team, and I think nearly every other owner feels the same".

Trump kicked off his attack on the players by calling National Football League quarterback Colin Kaepernick a "son of a bitch".

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.

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