Trump: ‘About time’ NFL demands players stand during anthem

Members of the San Francisco 49ers kneel during the playing of the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017, in Indianapolis. Vice President Mike Pence left the 49ers-Colts game after about a dozen San Francisco players took a knee during the national anthem Sunday. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says “it is about time” that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell demands “that all players STAND for our great National Anthem-RESPECT OUR COUNTRY.”

Trump is noting on Twitter that Goodell is convening NFL owners next week to consider changes to a game manual that says players “should” stand during the national anthem.

That’s a guideline that the league has left to the discretion of players who have kneeled in larger numbers after Trump’s criticism.

Goodell told club executives Tuesday in a memo that the anthem issue is dividing the league from its fans. He says the NFL needs “to move past this controversy.”

Trump told supporters last month that owners should fire players who kneel during the anthem, reigniting the movement started by ex-San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick.