NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday that while the league will not implement a rule requiring players to stand during the national anthem, all players “should stand.”
We believe everyone should stand for the national anthem. That’s an important part of our policy, it’s also an important part of our game that we all take great pride in,
Trump, whose bid to purchase the NFL’s Buffalo Bills was rejected in 2014, fired back on Twitter Wednesday morning: ‘The NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem. Total disrespect for our great country!’
The NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem. Total disrespect for our great country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2017
On Wednesday, Goodell emphasized his belief that the players are not being disrespectful of the flag or the United States by protesting peacefully.
Our players will state to you publicly they are not doing this in any way to be disrespectful to the flag Goodell said.
Goodell characterized Trump’s comments last month as “divisive“.
The NFL community responded to Trump with a show of player solidarity. Entire teams locked arms, remained in the locker room or knelt during the anthem at games over the past couple weeks.