New weapons between Trump and the NFL on the national anthem

Eli Harold Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reed kneel during the national anthem before a NFL game. Protests have reached down to the college level as students reconcile with divisive language

On Tuesday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell expressed his belief that everyone "should" stand for the national anthem but noted that the league would not institute a rule to force players to do so. Trump waded back into the anthem controversy with an early morning tweet after National Football League team owners and player representatives met in NY on Tuesday. However, recently, it's been his retweets that are speaking volumes about his feelings toward Goodell, as well as his approval of new community programs taking root.

"It is important for us to honor our flag and our country, and this is what the supporters expect from us", he recalled, noting that the players who protest in this way " don't do it to disrespect the flag ".

Goodell also said there were only "six or seven" players protesting. The demonstrations began previous year with former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has been unable to find a new team after leaving the 49ers. The owners chose to not force players to stand for the anthem, and Goodell was clearly displeased, but supported the decision.

"We're not afraid of the tough conversations", he said.

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Marouane Fellaini has also drawn praise from manager Jose Mourinho but De Bruyne says the rivalry among the Belgians has not intensified just yet.

"We want our players to be standing and we will continue to encourage them to get up", he said, adding that the members of the meeting had not discussed any possible sanctions against players knelt.

The president has called the protests disrespectful, and has urged supporters to walk out of games when players kneel during the anthem. "We'll deal with these issues as they come up, but for right now, that's our focus".

Three Lions players kneel during the national anthem.

. Polls have found that a majority of Americans disapprove of the anthem protests but are unhappy with the way Trump has handled the issue. However, San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York has reportedly vowed to stand by players who continue to kneel.

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