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NFL anthem reactions

Terrance Smith #48, Eric Fisher #72, Demetrius Harris #84, and Cameron Erving #75 of the Kansas City Chiefs is seen taking a knee before the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at the StubHub Center on September 24, 2017 in Carson, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

NFL players protesting in response to Trump criticism

What began as a single backup quarterback kneeling during the national anthem in a preseason game has mushroomed in the past 13 months to a nationwide movement, one that’s spread from the football field to the White House and forced America to deal with questions of free speech and patriotism.

But President Donald Trump ratched the conversation to a higher level on Friday night when he called for the firing of kneeling players. The NFL responded to Trump’s statement by defending its players, and Trump in turn shot back at the NFL over the course of several tweets.

Jay Busbee

From locking arms to kneeling, NFL players and teams responded to those comments on Sunday.