Some players opted to kneel, lock arms and raise their fists during the US National Anthem before matches on Sunday.
Others chose to not make an appearance on field at all until the anthem was finished, in opposition to President Trump’s criticism of atheltes who chose not to participate in the anthem.
““Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b**** off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!’” Trump said at Republican rally in Alabama last week.
Since doing so the Twitter hashtag #TakingTheKnee has gone viral, with politicians and celebrities also coming forward to share their views.
Steve Wonder joined the protest for peace by kneeling during the packed Global Citizen Festival in New York.
Wonder took to the stage and knelt saying: “Tonight I’m taking a knee for America”.
In response to Trump’s call to sack protesters, about two dozen NFL players took the knee at London’s Wembley Stadium as the US National Anthem played along with many others at US based games.
Members of Oakland Raiders sit on the bench before game against Washington Redskins in Landover. AP Photo/Alex Brandon
Tennessee Titans players walk to the field with arms linked before game between Titans and Seattle Seahawks. Neither team stood on the field for the anthem. AP Photo/James Kenney
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and center Justin Britt walk on field with arms linked after the national anthem in Nashville. AP Photo/Mark Zaleski
Members of the Cleveland Browns take a knee during the national anthem before game against the Indianapolis Colts.AP Photo/Michael Conro
Detroit Lions Armonty Bryant, A’Shawn Robinson and Cornelius Washington take a knee before game against the Atlanta Falcons.AP Photo/Duane Burleson
New Orleans Saints players sit on the bench before game against Carolina Panthers in Charlotte. AP Photo/Bob Leverone
Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan, center, joins players during the national anthem before game against the Baltimore Ravens at Wembley Stadium in London.AP Photo/Tim IrelandSeveral New England Patriots players kneel during the national anthem before game against Houston Texans in Foxborough, Mass. AP Photo/Michael DwyerOfficials stand on the sideline before game between Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans in Nashville. Neither team came out onto the field for the anthem. AP Photo/Mark ZaleskiNew Orleans Saints quarterback Chase Daniel stands during the national anthem as other Saints players sit on the bench before game against Carolina Panthers.AP Photo/Bob LeveroneBaltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars players take the knee before a game after Donald Trump criticised the NFL for the protests.ReutersBoycott games: Trump to NFL fans
Following Sunday’s protests, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to call for an NFL policy change.
“Sports fans should never condone players that do not stand proud for their National Anthem or their Country. NFL should change policy!”
“Great solidarity for our National Anthem and for our Country. Standing with locked arms is good, kneeling is not acceptable. Bad ratings!”
President Trump also called for fans to boycott the NFL and suggested players involved in political protests should be sacked or suspended.
“If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast. Fire or suspend!”
He also defended his criticism of the NFL player’s actions , saying his stance had nothing to do with race.
“We have great people representing our country, especially our soldiers, our first responders, and they should be treated with respect,” Trump said.
“And when you get on your knee and you don’t respect the America flag or the anthem, that’s not being treated with respect.”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has called Trump’s remarks “divisive,” and said they “demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL.”
Donald says taking the knee disrespects those who fought for freedoms we enjoy, yet he wants to deny players’ 1st amendment right to do it??
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) September 24, 2017The right thing and the easy thing are rarely the same. Massive respect for players taking a knee for what they believe in. #TakeTheKnee
— Danny O’Dwyer (@dannyodwyer) September 24, 2017Listen to the players taking a knee. They aren’t asking for UNITY, they are asking for ACTION on racial injustice.
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) September 24, 2017Counterpoint: Taking a knee, is, always has been, an act of humility. A virtue Trump has no concept of.
— Christopher Moore (@TheAuthorGuy) September 24, 2017Folks, NFL players taking a knee has nothing to do with disrespecting the military or the flag. Stop being so simple-minded.
— Jordan Strack (@JordanStrack) September 24, 2017
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