THE Legends Football League has BACKED American President Donald Trump – and will tell its players they have to stand up for the American national anthem.
Anthem protests have swept through American sport in the past year, sparking widespread debate and division in the country.
The protest was initially started by Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who now can’t find a job in the NFL despite his obvious talent, to highlight race inequality and social issues in the US.
But the protest, which has spread through the NFL and into other sports, has now caught the attention of the US president and has become a huge topic of discussion.
A huge number of players either knelt or stayed in the dressing room.
Others who did not want to kneel but supported their team-mates either linked arms or laid a hand on a kneeling player.
Mr Trump made a series of Tweets at the weekend blasting NFL players that knelt during the anthem.
He even called for NFL teams to “fire or suspend” players who “disrespected” the flag and country by kneeling.
The NBA champion Golden State Warriors have decided not to take the traditional trip to the White House to celebrate their title, while numerous critics and athletes, including basketball superstars LeBron James and Stephen Curry, have fired shots at the President.
But now the Legends Football League – a seven-on-seven game that sees scantily-clad women play a version of American football – has now publicly backed Donald Trump’s stance.
Releasing a video to YouTube titled ‘United We Stand’, the LFL said that the flag and anthem are “far too sacred” to be used in protest.
The video, with the Stars and Stripes as backing music, says: “It symbolises all the blood, sweat and tears that have been shed, so that we as Americans can raise our flag across our nation.
“The LFL salutes all those who make this the greatest country in the world and we stand in salute of our flag.”
A description of the video also reads: “The LFL recognises everyone’s First Amendment right to protest, but our nation’s flag and anthem are far too sacred.
“Too many fellow Americans have made the ultimate sacrifice, so that our flag and anthem continue in all its majesty.”
The video has divided opinion on social media.
One wrote: “Wow. Truly sad that an organisation with a diverse workforce and fan base has chosen to add to the division by choosing a side. Very sad.”
Another said: “As a disabled vet I can’t tell u how much it hurt that [the NFL disrespect] the flag, fallen, country.
“Now you have a new fan forever. You will replace them.”
At a game in May, Sherri Awagah and Danielle Harvey of the Los Angeles Temptation dropped to their knees during the anthem.
It is likely they will be banned from doing so again.
Donald Trump is expected to attend the Presidents Cup this weekend.
Organisers of the golf tournament said that it is a “non-partisan” event and they are “not endorsing a person” or a party.