- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 18, 2017

President Trump blasted the NFL Wednesday over its decision to “not force” players to stand for the national anthem.

“The NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem,” Mr. Trump tweeted. “Total disrespect for our great country!”

He was referring to a statement issued by the NFL Tuesday saying that owners and players agreed to work together to “promote positive social change and address inequality in our communities.”

The statement did not indicate any change in league policy that would require players to stand during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner, despite Mr. Trump’s urging of such a rule.

“Everyone who is part of our NFL community has a tremendous respect for our country, our flag, our anthem and our military,” the statement read. “In the best American tradition, we are coming together to find common ground and commit to the hard work required for positive change.”

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo last week to teams, saying the dispute over some players kneeling during the national anthem “is threatening to erode the unifying power of our game, and is now dividing us, and our players, from many fans across the country.”

He said fans expect the NFL “to honor our flag and our country.”

At the time, the president expressed satisfaction that Mr. Goodell “is finally demanding that all players STAND for our great National Anthem.”

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