Donald Trump Says It's 'Very Important' NFL Players Stand During National Anthem

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 30, 2017

Several New England Patriots players kneel during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

Donald Trump is not finished with his feud against the NFL and its players.

The president once again tweeted about potential protests Saturday, noting the need to respect the flag:

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

Very important that NFL players STAND tomorrow, and always, for the playing of our National Anthem. Respect our Flag and our Country!

All 32 teams had some demonstration before or during the national anthem during Week 3, with over 100 players kneeling. Three teams stayed off the field during the ceremony, while many others locked arms in unity.

Players have been kneeling during the national anthem since the start of last season, with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick initiating the act to protest racial injustice. The discussion was then brought into the spotlight last week after Trump told supporters at a rally he thought those who kneel should be fired.

As NFL players continued to defy him, Trump continued to tweet about the issue. According to Darren Rovell of ESPN, 24 of his 51 tweets over a four-day period regarded the NFL and the anthem, more than three times any other issue.

While it remains to be seen whether teams will continue to hold massive demonstrations as they did last Sunday and Monday, several players have announced their intentions to continue protesting.

"I plan to kneel until the president apologizes for the comments that he made," Tennessee Titans receiver Rishard Matthews said on NFL Live Tuesday, per Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.

The Pittsburgh Steelers said they will be standing for the anthem after mostly remaining in the tunnel last week.


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