Minnesota Vikings all stand again for National Anthem

Megan Rapinoe

Megan Rapinoe knelt for the national anthem before USA played Thailand in a friendly in September 2016

On the eve of a host of National Football League (NFL) games, President Donald Trump tweeted that it was "very important" that players stand during the USA national anthem, following an ongoing controversy over athletes and others kneeling in protest.

This all came more than a week after the president urged the NFL to fire or punish players who took a knee in protest during the national anthem.

Trump's highlighting of the issue could have repercussions for the National Football League, the poll suggests; 24 percent of Americans say they plan to boycott the NFL's games, broadcasts or products as a result of the take-the-knee protests. Philadelphia defensive backs Rodney McLeod and Malcolm Jenkins raised their fists, but nobody else made a gesture. Last Sunday, hundreds of players locked arms, some taking a knee, while some teams stayed in the locker room, all in response to Trump's posture on the issue. "But what so many Americans see, is you're disrespecting the idea of America that we want to make this free country a more ideal union and that people died and fought and survived to protect it", Ryan said.

Players are reacting strongly to Trump for what he said during and after a political rally (he knows the election is over, right?) in Huntsville, Alabama, on September 22.

Several teams decided to make their feelings known before the anthem was played, including at Wembley where New Orleans Saints players took a knee on the sidelines. They are trying to tell Trump that they will not stand for what he is saying.

"I would like to see your discharge papers from the military".

President Trump tweeted that it is important for players to stand and respect the flag and the country. He is fired. He's fired, ' Trump said to the mainly white crowd.

The players are not protesting the national anthem, nor are they protesting the flag.

The Baltimore Ravens knelt before the anthem after an announcement asking supporters to join in a prayer for "unity, kindness and justice for all Americans".

Previously, Scores of fans took to social media to display videos of them setting alight exclusive National Football League merchandise, others refused to burn their merchandise, saying their merchandise are expensive and not expendable, only a boycott of games was the more feasible route. On the other sideline, several members of the Miami Dolphins knelt during the national anthem. The president wrote, "You will see change fast" - suggesting fans would boycott games.

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