There was also football played during what was a drama-filled week three full of comeback wins and big upsets.
"Just felt like the comments by the president were being used to scare us, to intimidate us", Miami Dolphins player Kenny Stills said.
A number of sports players and teams demonstrated during the US national anthem over the weekend.
Donald Trump has said he supports a peaceful protest because it's an American's right... You're the leader of free world.
Even now, every wave of red-blooded American backlash seems to drag the message back to where it began. I have a daughter. It's not going to be easy. We're going to stand together on Sunday and try to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"The NFL doles out penalties for celebrating a touchdown, but won't require respect for our flag?". He was chosen, true. Do you know someone else we should interview for this story? The American Legion has called the protests and protesters "misguided and ungrateful". ABC News buried that poll in a dumpster.
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"I felt furious, hurt and hopeless, Reid wrote Monday in an op-ed for the NY Times".
You don't have to be a rocket scientist to suss out that America is far from perfect. Because this right here, is not acceptable.
"The topic continued to dominate discussion in sports Monday as NFL players reflected, NBA teams met with reporters and Trump doubled down on his position with tweets, saying the issue had nothing to do with race and using the hashtag "#StandForOurAnthem".
The NFL players who kneel in protest claim it's about race and all of the struggles that come with being a minority in America. "I think we've got a lot of problems in this country". Notice: at first it was "I" and that is fine.
"The original issue was police brutality", said Myles Conley, 42, a sales consultant from Atlanta.
Trump's comments targeting African-American players who participated in National Anthem protests came while the President addressed supporters at a rally in Alabama Friday night.
Both issued statements critical of Trump's comments and supporting the right of players to take a knee during the anthem, as did Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, who gave $100,000 to the inaugural along with $300,000 from his company. I think this is about the rights and freedoms people have and people deserve.
I served in the military during the Vietnam War. and my foot hurt, too. They feel like they've been told to stay in their place.
Villanueva's teammate, Ben Roethlisberger, said on Monday he regretted having missed the anthem.
But that has been a tough sell to a large portion of fans, who either refuse to acknowledge his charges of unfair policing, or who can't get past the optics of a less-than-solemn posture during the anthem.
Had he spoken that way, would the left not have characterized him as divisive?
"It's an emotional issue, all around".
"Everyone should know, including the president, that this is what real locker room talk is", he said in a reference to Trump's Access Hollywood tape apology last summer.
Jackson said, "It's just blatant disrespect".
It's worth noting that until very recently, the NFL was much maligned by those who lean liberal.