Trump releases petition for anthem standing: 'show patriotism'

No decision has been taken during this meeting on the thorny issue of the protests of the players during the national anthem, which divides the world of sports and american society the past several weeks.

Trump has been attacking NFL players for silently protesting the killing of Black people by police, along with protesting racial oppression and inequality by "taking a knee" instead of standing during the playing of the National Anthem.

He has called the players' actions "disgraceful" and remarked that seeing military veteran amputees reminded him how important it is to stand for the anthem and respect the military.

Trump has been vocal in his criticism of the NFL players who knelt or sat during the National Anthem.

"We believe everyone should stand for the national anthem", he told reporters Wednesday. Total disrespect for our great country! "We'll address issues - I can't deal with hypotheticals right now, we'll deal with those issues if they come up - but for right now, that's our focus".

Trump, however, has consistently called for any players who join the protests - which were started last season by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick - to be fired by their teams. Trump's remarks sparked a furious backlash amongst NFL players, team owners and league officials, with large-scale protests by players during the anthem in the weekend following the president's tirade. "We hope and are going to try to get that to zero", Goodell said.

"I think our clubs all see this the same way - we want our players to stand, we're going to encourage them to stand and we're going to continue to work on these issues in the community", Goodell said Wednesday.

And perhaps more important, National Football League leaders refused to let Trump hijack the narrative of the protest. The rules of the league says that players "should" stand up during the Star-Spangled Banner, but does not make this mandatory.

  • Sylvester Abbott