Online petition started by fundraising group urges standing for National Anthem

"Add your name below to show your patriotism and support".

The President also tweeted that he supports the NFL instituting a rule that players have to stand during the National Anthem.

The petition comes one day after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, the NFL Players Association, team owners and players met for two days in New York City to discuss, among other things, how to handle the anthem moving forward and enact social change on a national level.

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Risking fury from fans and a potential boycott led by a mad tweeter, the National Football League took the moral high ground Wednesday - and defended the rights of players to peacefully protest during the national anthem.

The Trump campaign released a petition encouraging everyone to stand for the national anthem. Total disrespect for our great country! "But they also understand how it's being interpreted". The meeting between owners and players ended with no agreement on the thorny issue of protests during "The Star-Spangled Banner", which has bitterly divided the sport and fans of the game. The NFL stopped short of meeting Trump's desire that players be forced to stop protesting.

It is precisely the great honor we accord the national anthem - and the American flag it celebrates - that gives such a contrary action as kneeling during the anthem its power as a signal of distress.

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Trump, however, has consistently called for any players who join the protests - which were started last season by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick - to be fired by their teams.

"They have stated to everyone publicly, they are not doing this in any way to be disrespectful to the flag", Goodell said, acknowledging that athletes are trying to use their platform to bring attention to "national issues" such as criminal-justice reform. Until people like Trump, who refused to condemn racists, white supremacists and KKK, begin a dialogue, protests will continue.

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