National Football League players sat out, knelt and linked arms during pre-game national anthems played across the country and in London on Sunday, after a weekend of tweets by President Donald Trump criticizing protesting players. Nathan Frandino reports.
(REUTERS / RESTRICTED POOL / USA TODAY SPORTS / SOCIAL MEDIA) – NFL players, coaches, and owners standing in solidarity during the national anthem on Sunday, defying President Donald Trump’s call for protesting players to be fired.
The day’s first show of protest starting in London, where more than a dozen members of the Jacksonville Jaguars took a knee for the Star-Spangled Banner. Other team members locked arms in unity.
Once games began stateside, players from the New Orleans Saints, to theTampa Bay Buccaneers and more choosing to either take a knee, sit, link arms or a combination of the gestures.
Trump on Twitter describing locked arms as good but called kneeling unacceptable.
Before kickoff, he had renewed his call to fire or suspend players for what he said was disrespecting the flag and country, and said the league should back the U.S.
The protest began last year when then San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem over police treatment of African-Americans and other minorities.
“We’re proud of our country, we respect our flag.”
Trump jumped into the feud Friday when at a rally said those players should be out of a job.
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT,
“Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s fired!”
Trump has also called for a boycott of teams which don’t punish protesting players.
But as seen on and off the field on Sunday, NFL owners, coaches and players, including Trump friend and New England Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, largely united against Trump’s comments.