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. "The NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem", Trump said.
"The President has asked for a list of supporters who stand for the National Anthem".
It's been very clear on President Donald Trump's take on athletes kneeling during the national nnthem and on Thursday, he took another step to making sure everyone stands. "Add your name below to show your patriotism and support", the petition reads. "We agreed that these are common issues and pledged to meet again to continue this work together".
"Too much talk, not enough action", he said.
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The protests started last season with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who both sat and took a knee during the anthem, saying he was protesting police brutality of African-Americans, and this season the displays have spread, including to other causes, while Kaepernick, now a free agent, remains unsigned by an National Football League team. "Stand for the National Anthem". "NFL executives and owners joined NFLPA executives and player leaders to review and discuss plans to utilize our platform to promote equality and effectuate positive change", the statement said. "What we're trying to do is deal with the underlying issue and understand what it is they're protesting". "It's also important for us to honor our flag and our country, and we think our fans expect us to do that".
Meanwhile, many players, owners and coaches continue kneeling during the anthem around the league. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said any of his players kneeling during the anthem risked being benched.
New Orleans players kneel during the American anthem.