Kaepernick Praises NFL Week 1 Anthem Protests As Trump Fumes

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"You have to stand proudly for the national anthem or you shouldn't be playing, you shouldn't be there, maybe you shouldn't be in the country", Trump said during an interview with Fox News after the new policy was introduced in May. The NFL has continued to roll back the policy owners voted through back in May, which would have allowed teams to punish players who chose not to stand during "The Star-Spangled Banner" but allowed them to remain in the locker room during the anthem without penalty.

Even though Colin Kaepernick would later join Trump in tweeting about the issue, however, it was a relatively quiet day as it pertained to the issue, with most of the discussion on the league's first Sunday focused on the action on the field.

Just hours before Sunday's game, Trump tweeted about the dip in National Football League ratings for Thursday's season-opening game compared to past seasons, hinting that players standing for the anthem could restore lost viewership.

The protests were popularized by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who recently became one of the faces of Nike's signature "Just Do It" campaign.

NBC ratings for the Atlanta Falcons-Philadelphia Eagles season opener Thursday were down 13 percent, but the kickoff was delayed by more than 30 minutes due to rain, pushing the broadcast later into the evening.

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Stills, Wilson and Quinn have all indicated they will continue to participate in protests throughout the season, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Off the field, President Donald Trump took his digs at the NFL, linking low TV ratings for the season opener to players who refuse to stand for the national anthem. He noted Stills and Wilson "have not backed down, even when attacked and intimidated".

The league will not put a new policy in place this season, Newsweek reported. "Otherwise worse!" Trump wrote on Twitter.

But the NFL Players Association filed a grievance over the policy, saying it denied members freedom of expression, and talks could not resolve the issue before the season began. Aside from the two Dolphins, it appeared that no other players had taken a knee as of Sunday afternoon.