WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is again criticizing the NFL over players kneeling during the national anthem.
Trump said on Twitter Wednesday that the “NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem.”
He adds: “Total disrespect for our great country!”
Trump appeared to be responding to the NFL annual fall meeting on Tuesday. The league invited players and representatives from their union to discuss social issues.
The topic of the national anthem was not discussed at length. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said owners did not ask players to commit to standing during the anthem.
Trump has suggested the owners should “fire” any players who knelt during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump says "it is about time" that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell demands "that all players STAND for our great National Anthem-RESPECT OUR COUNTRY."
Trump made a reference Wednesday on Twitter to Goodell's meetings next week with NFL owners, where they will consider changes to a game manual that says players "should" stand during the national anthem. That's a guideline that the league has left to the discretion of players who have kneeled in larger numbers after Trump's criticism.
Goodell told club executives Tuesday in a memo obtained by The Associated Press that the anthem issue is dividing the league from its fans. He said the NFL needs to move past the controversy.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said Wednesday that Goodell met a day earlier with Miami Dolphins players, law enforcement and community leaders. He said players from around the league would be in New York for the previously scheduled owners' meetings next Tuesday and Wednesday.
"The NFL is doing the hard work of trying to move from protest to progress, working to bring people together," McCarthy said in a statement.
Trump told supporters last month that owners should fire players who kneel during the anthem, reigniting the movement started by ex-San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick over his view of police mistreatment of black males.
Colin Kaepernick, Donald Trump and Eminem. The classic trio for a sports story.
On Tuesday night at the 2017 BET Hip-Hop Awards, that's exactly what happened. Eminem took Twitter by storm with a freestyle rap aimed at Donald Trump during the show.
During the rap, Eminem called out Trump for the president's fight against NFL players kneeling during the national anthem.
He gets an enormous reaction
When he attacks the NFL so we focus on that
Instead of talking Puerto Rico or gun reform for Nevada
All these horrible tragedies and he’s bored and would rather
Cause a Twitter storm with the Packers. …
Now if you’re a black athlete, you’re a spoiled little brat for
Tryna use your platform or your stature
To try to give those a voice who don’t have one.
A few verses later, Eminem raised his right fist before defiantly saying, "This one's for Colin!"
Kaepernick took to social media to show his appreciation for the Detroit rapper.