New Orleans Saints to kneel before anthem, then stand during it

The New Saints will take a knee ahead of the national anthem at NFL games and stand while the song is performed, in an effort to "show respect to all," the team's quarterback Drew Brees said Friday.

"As a way to show respect to all, our #Saints team will kneel in solidarity prior to the national anthem & stand together during the anthem," Brees wrote on Twitter.

The announcement comes amid a national debate about whether the NFL and other sports leagues should allow players to kneel in protest during the national anthem. 


President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew Jersey incumbents steamroll progressive challengers in primaries Tucker Carlson ratchets up criticism of Duckworth, calls her a 'coward' Trump on Confederate flag: 'It's freedom of speech' MORE railed against the protests during a campaign rally in Alabama last week, saying that professional football players that do so should be fired. 

Trump's comments drew a rebuke from dozens of NFL players, coaches and executives. On Sunday, NFL players across the country responded to the remarks by kneeling or linking arms during the national anthem at games. 

Trump has not backed away from his remarks, and has continued to criticize the practice as disrespectful to the American flag and the country as a whole. 

“I think it is a very important thing for the NFL to not allow people to kneel during the playing of the national anthem,” Trump said at a news conference on Tuesday.