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Donald Trump releases 'Stand for the National Anthem' petition

Donald Trump releases 'Stand for the National Anthem' petition”

In contrast to Trump, who has scorned any player who protests as a "son of a bitch" who should face suspension, Goodell praised the athletes as political activists trying to improve their communities.

During the multi-day press event, Goodell tried to tamp down the outrage, declaring that the National Football League believes all players should stand for the anthem but stops short on disciplining the players who do so. "Add your name below to show your patriotism and support", the petition reads. "It does not say how many signatures it has garnered so far", The Hill reports.

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. "We'll deal with these issues as they come up, but for right now, that's our focus".

After an NFL owners' meeting earlier this week, commissioner Roger Goodell said the league believes players "should stand" for the anthem, but decided against punishing those who choose not to do so.

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who first popularized the gesture past year, said he settled on kneeling as a form of protest because it is widely seen as a gesture of respect.

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".@NFL: Too much talk, not enough action".

More players have begun kneeling since Trump criticized the practice, and some sympathetic teammates have linked arms with the kneelers while standing themselves.

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.

Asked about owners who threatened discipline for players who didn't stand, Goodell said the owners didn't discuss it.

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.



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