President Donald Trump on Wednesday blasted the NFL, accusing the league of "total disrespect for our great country" following a meeting of team owners that did not adopt a requirement for players to stand during the national anthem.
Meetings between the league owners and players on Tuesday were described as extremely productive, and while Colin Kaepernick was among the players invited to the meeting in Manhattan, he did not attend as he did not want to provide a distraction and is now pursuing legal action against the league.
The absence of an agreement on the national anthem means that players may continue to take a knee even as the NFL grapples with declining television ratings and fan outrage over the protests.
Colin Kaepernick, the first player to begin protesting the national anthem last season, mentioned police brutality specifically to NFL.com in 2016 when asked why he knelt. According to a report, the owners were considering a rule that would force all players to stand while the anthem plays during their meetings this week. Among the topics discussed was enhancing the players' platforms for speaking out on social issues. Since opting out of his contract with the 49ers at the end of last season, Kaepernick has had zero job offers.
"Unfortunately, people want to change the paradigm so to speak or shift over the discussion to make this anti-American; it's anything but", Geragos continued.
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Kaepernick's attorneys are demanding that owners turn over any and all communications, documents, and/or depositions pertaining to their client-and they want it fast.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell addressed the media Wednesday afternoon following the second day of NFL meetings. Trump said in his Wednesday tweet, which was part of a barrage on a range of issues, including tax cuts and the FBI's investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server. "We're on the path to make the change we think we can make, we are just not there yet".
Quarterback Kaepernick first sat down during the United States national anthem in August 2016, before opting to kneel instead, in protest against racial injustice.
President Trump has repeatedly slammed the protests as unpatriotic and disrespectful, calling on National Football League owners to fire or suspend players who take part in the protests and for fans to boycott games if players continue to kneel. "But they also understand how it's being interpreted".
Blank said he thinks players kneeling is "fine". "They have a very deep understanding and tremendous knowledge of the issues that are going on in all of our communities, and their commitment to addressing these issues is really admirable".