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NFL unites during national anthems league-wide after president Trump’s attack on players

September 24, 2017 GMT

From players, coaches, executives and even owners interlocking arms to one team’s decision to remain in the locker room and another opting to wear t-shirts saying “I’m with Kap” to one singer kneeling at the conclusion of his own national anthem, the NFL delivered a unified message Sunday following President Donald Trump’s divisive calls throughout the weekend for teams to fire protesting players and fans to boycott games where protests occur.

Virtually every member of the Giants and Eagles stood with their arms interlocked during the anthem in Philadelphia. Many owners, including Jacksonville’s Shad Khan, Minnesota’s Zygi Wilf and Philadelphia’s Jeffrey Lurie stood side by side and with their arms interlocked with their players.

Steelers players opted to remain in the tunnel while Mike Tomlin and a few team officials stood on an eerily empty visitor’s sideline, while the Bears stood with arms interlocked on the other side of the field.

Many Dolphins players in pre-game warmups donned “I’m with Kap” t-shirts, a nod to former 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick, the trailblazer who first protested the anthem last season to raise awareness regarding social inequality and police brutality.

At Ford Field in Detroit, singer Rico Lavelle knelt and raised a fist as he belted out the final lyrics, “o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

Trump said at rally on Friday NFL owners should fire the “sons of b----s” who protest and doubled down on Twitter Sunday with his pleas for fans to boycott games.

NFL owners, commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith have responded with statements rejecting Trump’s divisiveness and supporting the players. It’s clear on Sunday that the President’s attempt at dividing players and coaches has resulted in the exact opposite: the league has demonstrated a united front.

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