In Brief

Donald Trump: NFL has ‘total disrespect’ for the US

President blasts league’s decision not to punish players who kneel during the national anthem

Donald Trump has once again hit out at the NFL after the league said it would not punish players who kneel during the national anthem. 

League officials, team owners, players and union representatives met yesterday to discuss social issues within the game, including the ongoing kneeling protest during the Star-Spangled Banner.

The New York Times reports that NFL owners will continue to let players kneel or sit during the anthem - in protest against police brutality and racial inequality - without inflicting a penalty. League commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed that players would not be asked to commit to standing.

Miami Dolphins’ owner Stephen Ross told The New York Times: “I can’t really tell you what people are going to do. The league has a policy. It hasn’t changed.” 

The meeting was focused on promoting social change within the sport. In a joint statement, the NFL and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) said: “Owners and players had a productive meeting focused on how we can work together to promote positive social change and address inequality in our communities.

“NFL executives and owners joined NFLPA executives and player leaders to review and discuss plans to utilise our platform to promote equality and effectuate positive change. We agreed that these are common issues and pledged to meet again to continue this work together.”

The protests were launched last year by quarterback Colin Kaepernick, much to the fury of President Trump. The NFL has been the subject of a number of scathing tweets by the US president, including one posted today.

Trump: “The NFL has decided it will not force players to stand. Total disrespect for our great country.”

Free agent Kaepernick this week filed a lawsuit against NFL team owners, claiming they “colluded” against hiring him following his “take a knee” protest against racial injustice.

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