The NFL is in awe of its own commitment to partnering with players for social activism in the wake of meetings between owners and the NFL Players Association, as reported by CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora.

The President of the United States, meanwhile, remains bent on telling the NFL that it should not be in awe of anything its protesting players are doing. Donald Trump’s war of words with the league resumed Monday morning with another tweet.

“Two dozen NFL players continue to kneel during the National Anthem, showing total disrespect to our Flag & Country,” Trump tweeted. “No leadership in NFL!”

The comments come less than a week after NFL players and owners jointly refuted the notion that protests have been targeting “our Flag & Country.” The NFL-NFLPA statement issued following the two sides’ recent New York City meeting, when free-speech organization PEN America called the league’s efforts a “rejection” of Trump’s divisiveness, said the entire “NFL community has a tremendous respect for our country, our flag, our anthem and our military,” and that protesting players were simply using the anthem as a vehicle for conversations about social inequality.

Trump’s condemnation of anthem demonstrations dates back to before he was elected president — he said in August 2016 that if former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who all but kicked off the kneeling protests, didn’t like America the way it was, “maybe he should find a country that works better for him.” In September, at a rally in Alabama, Trump called for team owners to “fire” players who knelt during pregame national anthems to protest social injustice. Since then, the president has dedicated dozens of tweets and public statements on the issue, painting all protests as “disrespect to our flag” rather than calls for equality.


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