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.