President Trump tweeting about NFL before openers

Sep 11, 2018, 02:12
President Trump tweeting about NFL before openers

There was plenty of hard hitting, taunting and questionable play-calling on the first Sunday of the National Football League regular season, and that doesn't even include what happened on the field.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced a revision of its Game Operations Manual on May 23 to include fines for teams whose "personnel are on the field and do not stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem".

(Eagles defensive end Michael Bennett did take a seat on the bench near the end of the song.) Even so, President Donald Trump weighed in on the protests after the ratings for the game were down from past year.

The NFL is not expected to issue an official policy addressing national anthem demonstrations this season, a report says. Only two of them - Albert Wilson and Kenny Stills of the Dolphins - kneeled while the "Star-Spangled Banner" played.

Miami Dolphins wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson took a knee Sunday for the national anthem prior to their game against the Tennessee Titans.

For the Atlanta Falcons-Philadelphia Eagles season opener Thursday, ratings were down 13%, ESPN reported. "They have not backed down, even when attacked and intimidated", Kaepernick tweeted.

"Wow, NFL first game ratings are way down over an already really bad a year ago comparison", he tweeted. Kaepernick, the face of a new marketing campaign by Nike, thanked the players for "their unwavering strength by fighting for the oppressed!"

Kaepernick started the protest while playing with the 49ers in 2016. The protest soon spread around the league with critics - including the USA president - saying it disrespected the flag and the military. "Otherwise worse!" the President wrote.

The new policy is going to be no policy - at least for this season, according to sources. However, that proposed national anthem policy was put on hold to let the league and the NFL Players Association continue to discuss what to do.

However, NBC did show the anthem Thursday night (but not before Sunday night's Bears-Packers game), and no players kneeled or protested in other ways.