Trump steps up attack on National Football League with new anthem protests petition

The petition is hosted on the GOP website and offers this description: "The President has asked for a list of supporters who stand for the National Anthem".

A "Stand for the National Anthem" petition has now been started by President Donald Trump as he continues to apply pressure on NFL players who take a knee in protest during the song's playing before football games, Sports Illustrated reported on Thursday. Existing NFL policy says players "should" stand for the anthem but does not explicitly make it mandatory. Total lack of respect to our great country!

Trump tweeted his disapproval of the decision.

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Goodell said on Wednesday after a meeting of league owners that the NFL would continue to nurture players' efforts to fight racial disparities in the criminal justice system, believing this would make the urge to protest fade.

".@NFL: Too much talk, not enough action". "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 not afraid of the tough conversations", he said.

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Trump's comments, however, only appeared to fuel the anthem protest movement as more players than ever before protested the national anthem in some manner the following Sunday. "We want our players to stand. We'll deal with these issues as they come up, but for right now, that's our focus".

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. "It's also important for us to honor our flag and our country, and we think our fans expect us to do that". Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said any of his players kneeling during the anthem risked being benched.

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