Trump: 'Very important' for NFL players to stand during anthem

Trump: 'Very important' for NFL players to stand during anthem
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump calls Sri Lankan prime minister following church bombings Ex-Trump lawyer: Mueller knew Trump had to call investigation a 'witch hunt' for 'political reasons' The biggest challenge from the Mueller Report depends on the vigilance of everyone MORE is calling for NFL players to stand during the national anthem at games on Sunday.

After a day in which he fervently defended his administration's response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, Trump wrote on Twitter Saturday evening that it is "very important" for professional football players to "always" stand during the anthem.


"Very important that NFL players STAND tomorrow, and always, for the playing of our National Anthem. Respect our Flag and our Country!" he tweeted.

The president ignited a public furor last week when he said during a rally in Alabama that players who kneel in protest during the anthem should be fired and urged supporters to walk out of NFL games when athletes take a knee.

NFL players across the country responded to Trump's remarks last Sunday by kneeling or linking arms during the national anthem in a show of solidarity.

Since then, Trump has called for an end to the demonstrations, which were intended to protest racial inequality and police misconduct. Even as he faced pressure this week over the administration's relief efforts in Puerto Rico, the president said it was "very important" to address the NFL protests.