No players kneel during national anthem at Super Bowl

No players kneel during national anthem at Super Bowl

No players knelt or sat during the national anthem as the Super Bowl kicked off in Minneapolis on Sunday, according to The Associated Press.

Pop singer Pink performed a rendition of the song as players for the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles stood on the sidelines.

Many Patriots players could be seen with their hands over their hearts, the AP reported.

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Prior to the game, President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew Bob Woodward book will include details of 25 personal letters between Trump and Kim Jong Un On The Money: Pelosi, Mnuchin talk but make no progress on ending stalemate | Trump grabs 'third rail' of politics with payroll tax pause | Trump uses racist tropes to pitch fair housing repeal to 'suburban housewife' Biden commemorates anniversary of Charlottesville 'Unite the Right' rally: 'We are in a battle for the soul of our nation' MORE released a statement in which he called on Americans to "proudly stand for the National Anthem."

The NFL season has been rocked by controversy as players have protested police violence and racial injustice by kneeling or sitting during the anthem, raising the ire of many on the right, including Trump.

Though the protests were started in 2016 by current free agent Colin Kaepernick, Trump fanned the flames in September when he said the league should fire the protesters.

His call led to a wave of player protests across the league, as well as heightened tensions between players and league representatives.

The protests have become one of the most contentious social issues of Trump's presidency, fueling speculation about whether players would kneel during the Super Bowl, the league's annual championship and arguably the biggest American television event of the year.

Trump hosted a Super Bowl watch party at his golf course in West Palm Beach, Fla., before returning to Washington, D.C. on Sunday.