Jaguars Owner Joins Players in Anthem Protest Following Trump’s Comments

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After President Donald Trump criticized NFL players choosing to kneel during the national anthem, a number have players and even owners have banned together in protest.

Trump on Sunday morning (Sept. 24) called for NFL players to suspend or fire players who protest the national anthem via Twitter, while urging fans to walk out of stadiums during Sunday’s games.

“If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast. Fire or suspend!” he tweeted.

Despite Trump’s comments, many in the NFL protested anyway.

The first teams to play on Sunday (Sept. 24) were the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars. They all linked arms or took a knee during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” ahead of the game at London’s Wembley Stadium.

Jaguars owner Shahid Khan was seen linking arms with players, which is believed to be the first league owner to do so. Ravens Coach John Harbaugh also joined his players and linked arms, while Ravens Hall of Famer Ray Lewis took a knee.

In a statement Khan said: “Our team and the National Football League reflects our nation, with diversity coming in many forms — race, faith, our views and our goals. We have a lot of work to do, and we can do it, but the comments by the President make it harder. That’s why it was important for us, and personally for me, to show the world that even if we may differ at times, we can and should be united in the effort to become better as people and a nation.”

Many other players and teams are expected to either skip the national anthem altogether, kneel or link arms.

This follows a controversial week, where Trump angrily reacted to  protesters like Colin Kaepernick, the free agent QB who started the protest movement a year ago when he kneeled during the singing of the national anthem. Trump referred to him as a “son of a bitch”, while also saying the NBA and Golden State Warriors were not invited to the White House to celebrate their NBA title… after players publicly stated they had no desire in visiting the White House this offseason. This prompted LeBron James to respond, calling the president is “a bum.”