Trump's comments on anthem, Curry resonate across sports


NFL players have used the United States national anthem to show their defiance to President Donald Trump's criticism, with at least 100 players kneeling or sitting in protest and one team staying in the locker room.

Rather than individuals protesting privately during the playing of the national anthem, Miami players decided decided "they'll instead lock arms in solidarity", ESPN's Jeff Darlington reported Sunday morning.

"I think what the president is saying is that the owners should have a rule that players should have to stand in respect for the national anthem", Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Sunday on ABC's "This Week".

Trump made his comments at a rally in Huntsville, Ala., on Friday.

"We will never back down", executive director DeMaurice Smith said in a statement.

"They have the right to have the First Amendment off the field", he added. Among them was Houston Texans owner Robert McNair, who called the president's remarks "divisive and counterproductive".

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Earlier in the day, several Detroit Lions and other National Football League players expressed their displeasure with Trump's comments via social media.

"The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture", the statement read in part.

And the president has a similar suggestion for fans of the sport: walk out of the stadium in protest.

Trump on Sunday continued to push for an end to the kneeling, started previous year by Colin Kaepernick, then the San Francisco 49ers quarterback, to protest police brutality toward African-Americans.

Kaepernick, who is now without a team, told NFL Media last August: "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color".

Their comments come three days after Trump tore into Kaepernick-style protests at a rally in Alabama for Sen. "That's what I'm going to continue to focus on, making sure that we take care of this country's needs in a way that people know they're better off". In addition, after Hue Jackson made a statement saying he "would hope that we don't have those issues" referring to the protests, many members of his team knelt the next game. That view comes amid growing concerns over repeated head blows and a brain disease.