Donald Trump releases 'Stand for the National Anthem' petition

Oct 22, 2017, 00:58
Donald Trump releases 'Stand for the National Anthem' petition

"Stand for the National Anthem".

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league had not sought a commitment by players to stand for the anthem at Tuesday's talks.

In a tweet on Wednesday, the U.S. president upped the ante in his fight with the NFL players kneeling down during the national anthem to decry police brutality against minorities, particularly African Americans in the United States.

On Thursday, President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence released a petition demanding that all players and fans in the NFL stand during the national anthem.

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Earlier on Wednesday, Trump expressed his anger at the previous day's news that the National Football League rulebook, which says players "should" stand for the anthem but stops short of mandating it, was not being changed any time soon. "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. We're going to continue to encourage them to stand. I think we also have to keep focus on this - we have about six or seven players that are involved with this protest at this point.

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

Trump has harshly criticized players who refuse to stand for the anthem, previously stating at a rally in late September owners need to "get that son of a bitch off the field".

"We're not afraid of the tough conversations", he said. Polls have found that a majority of Americans disapprove of the anthem protests but are unhappy with the way Trump has handled the issue. "We want our players to stand. What we try to do is deal with the underlying issue and understand what it is that they're protesting and try to address that matter".

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