American players will stand when the national anthem is played ahead of this week’s Presidents Cup, captain Steve Stricker has said.
NFL teams responded to criticism from United States President Donald Trump over the weekend, with many players kneeling during the anthem and three teams remaining in the locker rooms.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) September 26, 2017
But after consulting his players ahead of the biennial team event, of which Trump is honorary chairman, Stricker said there would be no such scenes before play gets under way at Liberty National on Thursday.
"There were no issues on our part," Stricker said in quotes reported on ESPN.com. "We had a good talk and we all realised that there are things going on in the world that aren’t right but we wanted to show our support for the flag.
"It was up to them. It was a good discussion what we should do.
"I just wanted to know what they wanted to do and how we wanted to proceed as a team. We are going to do what we always do and that’s take off our hat and put our hands across our chest and over our heart and respect the flag. So that’s what we’re planning on doing."
On Friday Trump described players who had knelt or raised fists for the Star-Spangled Banner over perceived racial injustice as ’’sons of b******’’ and suggested they should be fired by team owners.
Rather than deter players, there were widespread protests two days later, beginning with over 20 players kneeling at Wembley before the Jacksonville Jaguars’ victory over the Baltimore Ravens.
Three teams - the Tennessee Titans, their opponents the Seattle Seahawks and the Pittsburgh Steelers - remained in the locker rooms for the anthem, with the exception of Steelers lineman and US Army veteran Alejandro Villanueva, who stood at the end of the tunnel.