President Trump Praises NFL Owners For New National Anthem Policy

Houston Texans players kneel during the singing of the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks Sunday Oct. 29 2017 in Seattle

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'You have to stand proudly for the national anthem'. We are dedicated to continuing our collaboration with players to advance the goals of justice and fairness in all corners of our society. The players not on board will have to stay in the locker room.

NFL players should "stand proudly" during the national anthem, President Donald Trump said today after praising the league's new rule banning players from kneeling on the field during the song. No measures were taken against those players, but it was said by some team owners that this behavior could get some people benched while Trump yearned for even bigger punishments towards anyone supporting this type of protest. The league has not said how much in fines teams will face, or explicitly defined the term "respect", though commissioner Roger Goodell said in a press conference that the league wanted "people to stand".

Trump criticized any of the league's players who might challenge the rule and continue to kneel in protest, suggesting "maybe you shouldn't be in the country".

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Bears coach Matt Nagy said after practice Wednesday that the team will discuss the issue as a group at some point in the future.

But Trump downplayed his personal role in the new National Football League rule, saying "I think the people pushed it forward - this was not me".

The rule allows players to wait in the locker room during the anthem but says those on the field must "stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem" or risk a fine. "I brought it out". Trump said on Monday.

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New York Jets chairman Christopher Johnson told Newsday that he voted for the new policy because "I felt I had to support it from a membership standpoint".

Trump first seized upon the issue last September when called on team owners to fire players who followed former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's lead by kneeling during the national anthem. "I never want to put restrictions on the speech of our players". Do it how they did, I believe like 10 years ago, 15 years ago, players didn't even come out for the anthem. We are honored to work with our players to drive progress.

"This is fear of a diminished bottom line", wrote Chris Long.

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Media captionWatch: The history of anthem protests in the US.

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