President Donald Trump and Mike Pence are turning to their supporters to help them in their quest to prevent National Football League (NFL) players protesting during the national anthem. In a petition posted on the GOP website, the Trump Make America Great Again Committee asked individuals to give their name, email and zip code in order to "show your patriotism and support" in an official stand for the national anthem. It's unknown how many signatures the petition currently has.
The petition comes a day after Trump criticized NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL for not forcing players to stand for the national anthem. "The NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem," Trump tweeted on Wednesday morning. "Total disrespect for our great country!"
.@NFL: Too much talk, not enough action. Stand for the National Anthem.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2017
Pence got involved with the controversy earlier this month when he left an Indianapolis Colts game because several players on the San Francisco 49ers kneeled during the national anthem. Trump said the trip by Pence was "long planned."
While Goodell believes players should stand for the national anthem, he said, "what we are trying to stay out of is politics." After meeting with team owners and players, Goodell explained that the NFL is "talking about the issues that players have been trying to bring attention to – issues to make our communities better" rather than implementing a rule change.