On Thursday, President Trump, vitally concerned with the disrespect shown toward the National Anthem that was triggered by former San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and later spread across the NFL, fired a warning shot across the bow, approving a petition addressed to the American people asking who will stand for the National Anthem.
The petition can be found on the GOP website. It reads: “The President has asked for a list of supporters who stand for the National Anthem. Add your name below to show your patriotism and support.” According to the website, the petition is “Paid for by the Trump Make America Great Again Committee, a joint fundraising committee authorized by and composed of Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. and the Republican National Committee.“
On Tuesday, 13 players, owners of 11 teams, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, vice president of football operations Troy Vincent, NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith, as well as assorted other people, met in a conference room inside NFL headquarters to discuss the controversy regarding the National Anthem protests and to decide how to move forward.
On Wednesday, Trump had resumed his attack on those who would disrespect the National Anthem, tweeting:
In mid-September, Trump had triggered a firestorm when he stated at a rally in Alabama, "Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a b**** off the field right now. Out. He's fired! He's fired!’ … You know, some owner is going to do that. He’s going to say, 'That guy that disrespects our flag, he’s fired.' And that owner, they don’t know it [but] they’ll be the most popular person in this country." Trump added that the NFL protests during the National Anthem had exhibited a "total disrespect of our heritage" and "everything that we stand for."
Trump reiterated a few days later, "This has to do with respect for our country, and respect for our flag."