The Jacksonville Jaguars kicked off Sunday’s NFL action with a show of unity, the team locking arms as it stood for the national anthem before its game against the Ravens at Wembley Stadium in London, England.
Jaguars owner Shad Khan joined in on the unification effort, standing on the sidelines himself and locking arms with linebacker Telvin Smith and tight end Marcedes Lewis.
Ravens players also locked arms as they stood together on the sidelines before the game in a similar display of unity. Some players knelt during the playing of the anthem.
The show of unity came two days after President Donald Trump said during a campaign rally in Alabama that NFL players should not be allowed to “disrespect’’ the American flag by kneeling or sitting during the national anthem.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired!’ ’’ Trump said.
“You know, some owner is going to do that. He’s gonna say, ‘That guy disrespects our flag, he’s fired.’ And that owner, they don’t know it. They don’t know it. They’re friends of mine, many of them. They don’t know it. They’ll be the most popular person, for a week. They’ll be the most popular person in the country.’’
Khan made his stance after several NFL owners including Dolphins owner Stephen Ross publicly criticized the President for his comments on Saturday.
Ross joined 49ers owner Jed York and Giants owners John Mara and Steve Tisch in condemning Trump’s comments, all three saying they were proud of their players for using their platform in an effort to forge societal changes.
Commissioner Roger Goodell took on Trump as well for his comments, saying they “demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all our players.”