The NFL is taking a united stand after President Donald Trump called for the firing of basketball and football stars like Colin Kaepernick who have chosen to protest the national anthem by taking a knee.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has announced that the league will re-air a unity television advertisement on Sunday night following Trump’s controversial comments over the weekend.
“We will air this Unity spot in tonight’s game,” Goodell said in a tweet on Sunday afternoon. “It reflects the unifying force of our great game, our players & clubs.”
An NFL spokesman added to CNN, “We think this is the single best response to demonstrate what we are about. It stands in stark contrast to some who practice the politics of division.”
The one-minute ad, called “Inside These Lines,” first ran during February’s Super Bowl and will be re-aired during Sunday night’s game between the Oakland Raiders and Washington Redskins.
The spot shows images of football players embracing each other while a narrator says, “Inside these lines, we don’t have to come from the same place to help each other reach the same destination.”
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The move comes after Trump, at a rally for Alabama Republican Senate candidate Luther Strange on Friday, said he thought NFL team owners should fire players who have protested the national anthem.
He doubled down on his comments in a series of tweets on Saturday and Sunday, saying NFL players “should not be allowed to disrespect … our Great American Flag,” and encouraging NFL fans to boycott games in counter-protest.
He added that he thought locking arms would be an acceptable form of protest but that “kneeling is not acceptable.”
Goodell previously said that president’s remarks about the NFL demonstrated “an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL.”