Trump described players who kneeled during the anthem to draw attention to racial injustice as “sons of bitches.” AFP / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Thearon W. Henderson
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The issue of how to handle player protests of kneeling during the pregame playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" has loomed over the NFL club owners meeting in Atlanta, with the sport anxious to avoid a repeat of the controversy that divided the league last season.Vice President Mike Pence, who walked out on an NFL game in Indianapolis after some players kneeled for the anthem, tweeted a headline of the NFL announcement Wednesday under the hashtag "Winning" and an American flag.Under current NFL regulations, all players are required to be on the field during the anthem.Players who do come onto the field for the anthems would be required to stand or teams would be fined.Goodell said the NFL would levy fines against teams if players came onto the field and did not stand for the anthem, with teams deciding what punishment if any to pass along to kneeling players.Free agents Kaepernick and Eric Reid are suing the NFL, saying league owners colluded to keep them unsigned as retaliation for the protests.
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