NFL protests that began in 2016 expanded across the nation this weekend after President Trump said on Friday that players who take part in kneeling or sitting during the national anthem should be fired.
"Ratings for NFL football are way down except before game starts, when people tune in to see whether or not our country will be disrespected!", his first NFL-related tweet on Tuesday read.
His early morning Twitter barbs came hours after the Dallas Cowboys, along with coaches and the team owner, collectively took a knee before their game Monday night in what they called a statement of equality and unity. I was at Walter Reed hospital recently and I saw so many great young people and they're missing legs and they're missing arms and they have been so badly injured.
Earlier on Tuesday morning, Trump was tweeting about the Cowboys' protest on Monday night, as well as National Football League ratings.
Trump tweeted on Tuesday that the NFL should require players to stand for the national anthem.
More than 200 NFL players kneeled, sat or prayed during the national anthem on Sunday after Mr Trump said any player who does not stand for the national anthem should be fired.
Combat Army veteran Michael Farnum, of MS, risked his life fighting on the front line - but says he has no problem with athletes kneeling during the national anthem so long as their demonstration is peaceful. "Respect our flag and respect our country", said Army Veteran Johnny Lindstrom.More news: Saudi allows women to drive
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While the NFL's players haven't been fully united in their forms of expression, or even in their stance on standing for the flag, Thomas doubts division will filter in and poison teams.
'I've seen people turn this into some sort of disrespect towards soldiers which I believe is an excuse not to hear or talk about what's really wrong with our country.
In the latest poll, 40 percent of Americans said that they support the stance that some pro football players have made to not stand during the anthem.
No owner has listened to Trump's rant thus far. And for people to disrespect that by kneeling during the national anthem I think is disgraceful.
Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston has voiced his supporter for the National Football League anthem protests, saying those choosing to demonstrate are actually respecting the country - not the other way around.
Since then, Trump has doubled down on his stance in a series of tweets and comments to reporters.