#TakeTheKnee trending hashtag reveals sharp debate over National Football League players' kneeling

The tweet stems from a continuous feud between the president and the NFL after 200 pro football players knelt during the national anthem before games on the weekend in defiance of Trump's criticism of the "take a knee protest".

During a Friday night speech in Alabama, President Donald Trump labeled NFL players as "sons of bitches" for failing to stand during the National Anthem.

The protest has grown as more players express opposition to racial injustice and police brutality across the country.

In addition to taking a jab at the league's TV ratings, which Trump said were highest before the games started as viewers watched to see if the "country will be disrespected", he also took a shot at the Dallas Cowboys for their protest on Monday night. On Sunday, NFL teams across the nation acted in solidarity with their fellow athletes, whether they took a knee, stood locking arms or stayed in their locker room during the anthem.

"But we have to choose respectful ways of doing that so that we can achieve the outcomes we ultimately want and do it with the values and ideals that make our country great".

President Donald Trump renewed his onslaught against the NFL, American football's elite league, with a series of Twitter tackles after a series of weekend protests continued.

Trump is now embroiled in a five-day controversy with the NFL since he first commented on players protesting the National Anthem at a rally in Alabama on Friday.

The national anthem has been as big a storyline in the NFL this season as the games themselves.

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.

Navy veteran Mark Hinton says he wouldn't kneel, but he understands the importance of the message, and just wishes it could be done better.

And I think those men respected the country they fought for and founded - a great deal more than the self-proclaimed patriots who are simply hypocrites - because they want to deny the basic freedom of this great country...

"The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race", Mr. Trump tweeted on Monday morning, reiterating his statement to reporters a day earlier. And for people to disrespect that by kneeling during the national anthem I think is disgraceful.

"I've heard that before about was I preoccupied", Trump said during a joint press conference with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. Kaepernick's not even in the NFL right now and the demonstrations during the national anthem have never been more prominent.

  • Rogelio Becker