During a speech at a political rally in Alabama on September 22, Trump called for National Football League owners to fire players who engaged in such a protest.
He tweeted Saturday that players should stand on Sunday, saying they should respect the USA flag and country.
Later Trump tweeted embedded video of fans and players standing at an NHL game, writing "19,000 RESPECTING our National Anthem!" [NL2N1M40CQ] Some African-American players adopted the symbolic gesture of kneeling during the anthem over the past year to protest against racial disparities in the USA criminal justice system. Though there are signs that at least some players are ready to take the ball and run. "I think they made it clear they support our players, but also support our country, the national anthem, the flag-all of the things some have suggested we don't". On the Miami Dolphins' sideline, three players were on one knee during the singing of "The Star-Spangled Banner".
Jalen Reeves-Maybin and Steve Longa kneeled during the national anthem.
Protests are expected to be at a minimum on Sunday however, with teams now calling for unity, and NFC North rivals Green Bay Packers chose to link arms with each other in a show of unity rather than protest, with fans in the stands putting their rivalry aside to do the same. With no flag unfurled and no anthem playing, the team took a knee in prayer and was met with boos from the crowd. They are about specific social justice issues.
Last week, Grady Jarrett and Dontari Poe took a knee during the national anthem but stood during this week. Many anti-war protestors blamed them for the atrocities that had occurred as much as the government that ordered their deployment.
Trump has spent days attacking players who kneel during the anthem.
"I'm not sure why professional sports have anything to do with patriotism or military service, or why the national anthem is even a part of the game". The protests culminated a week ago when scores of players, following calls by the president to fire protesting athletes, sat or knelt as the anthem was played. Cowboys defensive end Damontre Moore raised his fist as the anthem ended.
On Sunday, the tone was again set by the early game held in London between the Saints and Dolphins.