Three Miami Dolphins kneel during national anthem in London

  • Three Miami Dolphins kneel during national anthem in London

Three Miami Dolphins kneel during national anthem in London

Those who took exception to the form of the players' protests, including Trump, have made the national debate about patriotism. "He is fired. He's fired!'" "Find something else to do!"

Elsewhere, players continued to demonstrate during the anthem with Denver Broncos' Brandon Marshall raising a fist. In the days that followed the president issued a series of tweets reiterating his views and calling for a fan boycott of games.

The president's comments did not go unanswered. "Instead of focusing in on what President Trump was focusing on, we're focusing on whether or not President Donald Trump is a racist".

This angered Trump so he tweeted that he was rescinding their invitation.

Only a handful of players kneeled during the games on Sunday.

One thing I did see and like over the course of the weekend was the action of many teams, including the Saskatchewan Roughriders, who elected not to kneel but to lock arms as a way of showing solidarity among teammates. On Sunday in Baltimore, it was Ravens Coach John Harbaugh talking to Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva and DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFL Players Association, before the Ravens and Steelers played at M&T Bank Stadium.

The number of NFL players kneeling during the American national anthem reduced dramatically ahead of Sunday's fixtures. This same crossroad will be met by every NFL owner in the league throughout this season if it hasn't been met already.

In 2011, Trump, while still a private citizen, worked to delegitimize President Barack Obama, the nation's only African-American president, by suggesting Obama was not a United States citizen and did not have a legitimate birth certificate, which was a lie.

By 51%-42%, those surveyed say the players' protests are appropriate...

The results differ from a CBS News/YouGov poll released on September 29 that found 52 percent of Americans disapproved of the players kneeling, while 38 percent approved. And it, apparently, was important to the President that America's team stand for the National Anthem.

This narrative is sure to become a weekly installment in the 2017-18 NFL Sunday experience. CBS commentator and former National Football League player Boomer Esiason called him an "embarrassment". This is a differentiating factor for many regional businesses.

If he had been asked about the issue, it would have been fine for him to say, in a measured way, that players have the same free speech rights that everybody does, but that he thinks it is not only disrespectful but not the right place for it. Others offered their support to players who are protesting systemic oppression and following in the footsteps of still-unemployed Colin Kaepernick. The team has its home opener on October 5, so it will be interesting to see if the president uses the opportunity to discuss the anthem and protests further. This is a reality where ESPN keeps track of which players protest on a week-to-week basis.

Some public affairs managers of teams have said that if fans want to return their shares and tickets, they are welcome to do so, but the position of the team amidst presidential interference remains solid and they are going to stick with their players.