Donald Trump attacked NFL players who have protested during the national anthem on Friday night. On Sunday, Trump took to Twitter, telling his followers to boycott the NFL. The comments only emboldened the movement and encouraged more players to participate.
Many players who hadn’t participated in the movement started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in the past joined.
Trump said Friday that NFL owners who see players “disrespecting the flag” should say “get that son of a bitch off the field right now, he’s fired.” He doubled down on his comments a day later on Twitter:
If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL,or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017
...our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem. If not, YOU'RE FIRED. Find something else to do!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017
The NFL and NFLPA responded Saturday, but the strongest sentiments came from current and former players who went to Twitter en masse to speak against the comments made by Trump. Many teams have now made statements in response to Trump, too.
Ravens and Jaguars kneel, link arms; Shad Khan joins them
Several players on both teams kneeled, including Leonard Fournette, Jalen Ramsey, Calais Campbell, and 10 other Jaguars. Terrell Suggs was among the many Ravens players kneeling, with Ray Lewis joining the team.
On both squads, players and coaches who did not kneel linked arms.
Jaguars owner Shad Khan, a former Trump supporter, also linked arms with the players.
“I met with our team captains prior to the game to express my support for them, all NFL players and the league following the divisive and contentious remarks made by President Trump, and was honored to be arm in arm with them, their teammates and our coaches during our anthem,” Khan said in a statement.
After the game, Suggs spoke to why he joined in and protested during the anthem on Sunday.
"Personally, I think the comments made about my brothers who decided to protest and kneel is kind of what made us no longer be silent. We stand with our brothers,” Suggs said via ESPN. “They have the right to protest. We knelt with them today. Non-violent protest is as American as it gets. We knelt with them today and let them know we are a unified front. There is no dividing us. I guess we're all sons of b------."
Steelers will stay in the locker room during the national anthem
“We’re not going to play politics. We’re football players, we’re football coaches. We’re not participating in the anthem today. Not to be disrespectful to the anthem, to remove ourselves from the circumstance. People shouldn’t have to choose,“ Tomlin said.
Alejandro Villanueva was the lone Steelers player to come out during the anthem
Villanueva, who was a Captain in the United States Army stood in the tunnel during the anthem.
OL Alejandro Villanueva out in the tunnel standing alone for the national anthem. pic.twitter.com/fv2j06zRNL— Cole Cubelic (@colecubelic) September 24, 2017
Bears players linked arms
Pernell McPhee and Leonard Floyd were among the Bears players to link arms during the anthem.
Dolphins players wear Kaepernick T-shirts
During the pregame warmups, several Dolphins players wore Colin Kaepernick shirts:
The players included Ja’Wuan James, Laremy Tunsil, Jermon Bushrod, Jakeem Grant, Leonte Carroo, Drew Morgan, Jay Ajayi, and Damien Williams, according to the Miami Sun-Sentinel.
Broncos players kneel
A number of Broncos players kneeled during the national anthem:
Chris Harris raised his fist:
After the game, Von Miller said President Trump’s speech against the NFL was an “assault on our most cherished right, freedom of speech.”
Von on why he kneeled for anthem: "We felt like President Trump's speech was an assault on our most cherished right, freedom of speech."— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 24, 2017
Bills kneel, link arms
At least six Bills players kneeled and linked arms, with other members of the team resting a hand on them in support.
Browns players kneel, link arms
More than a dozen Browns player kneeled during the anthem while others stood linking arms behind and alongside their teammates.
Many Patriots players took a knee, Brady linked arms with Dorsett
Tom Brady linked arms with Phillip Dorsett while many other Patriots players took a knee on the sidelines. Brady did have his hand over his heart while the anthem was sung.
Tom Brady links arms with Phillip Dorsett pic.twitter.com/N7gEzsiYwX— Joon Lee (@iamjoonlee) September 24, 2017
Eagles players raise fist during anthem
The Eagles linked arms while a few players raised their fists during the anthem.
LeSean McCoy continued warming up during anthem
McCoy continued warming up during the anthem and didn’t acknowledge the anthem was occurring.
Shsfjfjddjsndnjjds Shady is a wild boy. pic.twitter.com/ZIp176Ijjm— Paulo Di Balla (@FEELZ_) September 24, 2017
LeSean McCoy among the several Bills players who are kneeling and now he is stretching during the national anthem pic.twitter.com/k12xgk8WX4— Josh Reed (@4JoshReed) September 24, 2017
After the game, McCoy said Trump should “stop trying to divide us.”
Falcons players link arms
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and backup quarterback Matt Schaub was among the players to link arms during the anthem.
Vikings owners lock arms during anthem
While Jaguars owner Shahid Khan linked arms with players during the anthem, the Vikings ownership linked arms among themselves.
Wilf ownership group locks arms with Vikings players for national anthem. pic.twitter.com/5CJeTj92K6— Aj Mansour (@AjKFAN) September 24, 2017
Lions anthem singer took a knee at end of anthem
Rico Lavelle, who sang the anthem for the Detroit Lions versus Atlanta Falcons game, took a knee for the final words of the anthem.
The national anthem in Detroit ended on one knee pic.twitter.com/7Fi3wSjHSb— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) September 24, 2017
Brandon Coleman raises fist after scoring TD
After scoring an 11 yard touchdown, the Saints wide receiver raised his fist.
Odell Beckham Jr. raises fist after touchdown
After scoring his second touchdown on Sunday against the Eagles, Odell Beckham Jr. raised his fist.
Seahawks to stay in locker room during anthem
The Seahawks have released a statement saying they won’t be on the field during the anthem on Sunday. “We will not stand for the injustice that has plagued people of color in this country,” the statement reads.
No Seahawks or Titans players on field during anthem
All Seahawks and Titans players remained in the locker room during the national anthem using that as their form of protest, just as the Steelers did (minus Villanueva) earlier in the day.
Titans anthem singer kneeled at end of anthem
Just as the Lions national anthem singer kneeled at the end of the anthem in Detroit, the same happened in Tennessee as Megan Lindsey took a knee at the end of the anthem.
Bengals link arms during anthem
The Bengals all linked arms ahead of their game against the Packers.
Handful of Packers sit, others link arms during anthem
Packers players linked arms during the anthem while others, including tight ends Lance Kendricks and Martellus Bennett sat.
Chargers players sit, kneel and link arms during anthem
The Chargers did a little of everything as some players sat, some kneeled and some linked arms during the anthem.
Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce kneels during anthem
Kelce took a knee during the anthem, too, becoming one of a few white players to do so.
Mike Evans shares his thoughts on protesting
Lions head coach Jim Caldwell makes a statement
Caldwell says the Lions players aren’t protesting the flag, but equality in this country.
Caldwell: Protesting wasn't about the flag it was about equality— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) September 24, 2017
Jim Caldwell: "There are no SOBs in this league"— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) September 24, 2017
Browns quarterback Deshone Kizer makes a statement
Deshone Kizer says it’s a tragedy we’re still having the conversations that have gone on this weekend. He added that he’s no “son of a bitch”.
#Browns Kizer in response to Trump says "I'm no son of bitch and "it's a tragedy" that we're still having these conversations— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) September 24, 2017
Chiefs fans booed at players sitting during anthem
Chiefs fans weren’t happy when players were sitting as a form of protest during the national anthem.
Chiefs sitting. Fans are yelling "Stand up!" pic.twitter.com/tErlGYH8XM— Louis Bien (@louisbien) September 24, 2017
Julius Peppers speaks to his reasons for protesting
Peppers is a very private guy, but on Sunday he took his thoughts to the public.
Julius Peppers: it’s only a few times in a man’s life where you have a chance to stand up for something that you believe pic.twitter.com/5q109oALni— Joshua A. Vinson (@TheJoshAVinson) September 24, 2017
Adrian Peterson speaks out on Trump
Adrian Peterson said Donald Trump's comments were "a slap in the face." pic.twitter.com/0H0zLua3pY— Josh Katzenstein (@jkatzenstein) September 24, 2017
Saints head coach calls out Trump
Sean Payton clearly is not happy with Trump’s comments. He went out of his way to call out the president after the Saints’ win over the Panthers.
Sean Payton with strong words. Said there needs to be a little bit more wisdom with the President.— Larry Holder (@LarryHolder) September 24, 2017
More Payton on Trump:Want him to be 1 of smarter guys in the room. Every time his mouth opens, dividing our country, not pulling us together— Larry Holder (@LarryHolder) September 24, 2017
Sean Payton questions the wisdom of the man in the White House. pic.twitter.com/hP9zh23Guw— Steve Reed (@SteveReedAP) September 24, 2017
Chris Long offers suggestion from Trump
Per Dan Graziano, Eagles defensive end Chris Long said if Trump isn't OK with peaceful protests, "Maybe he should go lead another country."
Dolphins safety Michael Thomas gets emotional over Trump's statements
Clearly, Thomas is taking Trump’s comments personally.
Dolphins safety Michael Thomas started breaking up when talking about Trump calling him "a son of a b!tch." pic.twitter.com/Z4wroPcvzW— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) September 24, 2017
Safety Devin McCourty speaks out on the Patriots’ “demonstration”
Devin McCourty with a powerful and passionate explanation of the Patriots players' anthem demonstration pregame pic.twitter.com/NYfEaSrmiV— Mike Petraglia (@Trags) September 24, 2017
Mike Tomlin explains Steelers staying in locker room during anthem
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin on why team decided to protest national anthem by not standing on sideline: pic.twitter.com/4ciqV3mMod— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) September 24, 2017
Rishard Matthews celebrates touchdown by raising fist
The Titans wide receiver scored a 55-yard touchdown against the Seahawks and put his fist in the air.
Matthews said Tuesday on ESPN’s NFL Live that he will kneel during the national anthem until President Trump apologizes.
Bengals DE raises fist after sack
After sacking Aaron Rodgers, Bengals defensive end Chris Smith raised his fist.
Sunday Night Football featured lots of protesting
Both the Raiders and Washington performed forms of protests during the anthem on Sunday night.
Washington owner Dan Snyder stood with his players on the sidelines, as did other suited members of Washington’s organization.
Raiders wanted to stay in locker room during anthem, but couldn’t
The Raiders wanted to stay in the locker room during the protests but couldn’t due to varying timing rules in daytime and primetime games. The primetime timing between the anthem and kickoff didn’t allow for the Raiders to stay in the locker room while the anthem was sung.
Instead, many of the Raiders players sat on the bench during the anthem while linking arms.
Quarterback Derek Carr was not among them as he stood during the anthem.
Josh Norman addressed the protests after the game.
Cowboys, Cardinals join protests on Monday Night Football
Before the start of the national anthem on Monday night, Cowboys players and owner Jerry Jones linked arms and took a knee together amid boos from the crowd. The Cardinals also linked arms before the game.
The NFL rules state players could be fined for skipping the anthem, but the expectation, per Pro Football Talk, is the NFL will not be taking action against players who chose to do that.