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Trump calls on NFL players again to ‘stand for the National Anthem’

US President Donald Trump has called on the US National Football League (NFL) players again to “stand for the National Anthem.”

In a tweet on Wednesday, the US president upped the ante in his fight with the NFL players kneeling down during the national anthem to decry police brutality against minorities, particularly African Americans in the United States.

Trump urged the NFL to take action against those defying the tradition.

“Too much talk, not enough action,” he said. “Stand for the National Anthem.”

‘No shift in NFL policy’

This AFP file photo taken on September 23, 2017 shows Samaje Perine #32 and Chris Carter #55 of the Washington Redskins holding hands as they stand and kneel in unison during the national anthem before playing against the Oakland Raiders at FedExField in Landover, Maryland.

Earlier in the day, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters that the league has not changed its policy to require players to stand up yet urging them to do so.

“That’s an important part of our policy. It’s also an important part of our game that we all take great pride in, and it’s also important for us to honor our flag and to our country, and we think our fans expect us to do that,” Goodell said.

He added that he was aiming to reduce the number of those protesting in such manner to zero.

“We’re not afraid of the tough conversations,” he said. “That’s what we’re having with our players. That’s what we had yesterday to make sure we understand one another and understand where they’re coming from, and I think out of those discussions, they understand the owners and the NFL really do care about their issues and what we can do to make the communities better.”

Goodell (pictured above) further said he had not yet communicated with President Trump about the issue.

Before his statement, Trump tweeted that such protests amount to a “total disrespect for our great country” and that the league should “force players to stand” for the national anthem.

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In his comments, the NFL commissioner rejected the argument, asserting that “They are not doing this in any way to be disrespectful to the flag, but they also understand how it’s being interpreted… That’s why we’re trying to deal with those underlying issues.”

Taking a knee during the National Football League games is part of an effort to raise awareness about American police brutality.

Meanwhile, many players, owners and coaches continue kneeling during the anthem around the league.

source: press tv

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