President Donald Trump has accused the NFL of showing "total disrespect" for the United States by not forcing players to stand during the national anthem.
The concept of kneeling or sitting during the Star-Spangled Banner originated last pre-season through then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, as a way to highlight perceived racial injustice, and became more commonplace after Trump said in September that any player kneeling should be "fired".
Last week commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to all 32 teams stressing the league believed "everyone should stand for the national anthem", but no blanket rule was on the agenda when the topic was discussed yesterday with team owners, players and representatives from the NFL Players Association.
Trump wrote on Twitter today: "The NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem. Total disrespect for our great country!"
The NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem. Total disrespect for our great country!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2017
Yesterday's meeting in New York featured 11 team executives and players from eight teams, including those who have knelt in recent weeks.
Kaepernick - who remains out of work after leaving San Francisco in the summer and has filed a lawsuit against team owners alleging collusion to keep him out of the league - was not present.
But former 49ers team-mate Eric Reid, who knelt alongside Kaepernick last season, said he would continue to do so as he emerged from the meeting wearing a T-shirt carrying the slogan "#IMWITHKAP".
"I did bring up in the meeting how this started with him, and we need to get the messaging straight surrounding him," Reid told Sports Illustrated. "They heard me, and they agreed.
"We started this to raise awareness and to effectuate change. We're on the path to make the change we think we can make, we are just not there yet.
"This is a long-term project. There wasn't much that was going to happen in a two-hour meeting. We are going to continue to meet, continue to have dialogue and figure out a way to get these issues on track."