Acting NY Jets owner, brother of Trump ambassador, links arms with players during national anthem

New York Jets chairman and acting owner Christopher Johnson released a statement Sunday saying it was “an honor and a privilege” to stand with Jets players on the sideline of Sunday’s game after President Trump criticized NFL players for kneeling during the national anthem.

“It was an honor and a privilege to stand arm-in-arm unified with our players during today’s National Anthem,” Johnson said in a statement. “We are very proud of our players and their strong commitment to work in our community to make a positive, constructive, and unifying impact.”

The Jets also posted photos of Johnson and Jets players linking arms on the sidelines of Sunday’s game.

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Jets owner Woody Johnson, the older brother of Christopher Johnson, was confirmed as the U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom in August. The Jets owner is a longtime Republican donor and contributed $1 million to Trump’s inaugural committee.

Dozens of players, coaches and team officials across the NFL joined in kneeling during the national anthem Sunday following Trump’s comments.

Most of the Pittsburgh Steelers remained in the locker room as the anthem was played at their game, and the Jacksonville Jaguars were joined by their owner, Shad Khan, on the field as they knelt and linked arms before their game.

Trump has faced backlash in recent days after calling on NFL owners to fire players who kneel during the national anthem.

"Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. He is fired,' " Trump said at a rally in Alabama.

--This story was updated at 2:28 p.m.