DONALD Trump stoked flames over the feud surrounding NFL players kneeling during the national anthem as he tweeted in support of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees.
Mr Trump tweeted that the American flag was one thing you can't protest as he wrote "NO KNEELING!"
The US President tweeted: "I am a big fan of Drew Brees. I think he’s truly one of the greatest quarterbacks, but he should not have taken back his original stance on honoring our magnificent American Flag.
"OLD GLORY is to be revered, cherished, and flown high...
"..We should be standing up straight and tall, ideally with a salute, or a hand on heart.
"There are other things you can protest, but not our Great American Flag - NO KNEELING!"
The president's tweet reignites the controversy surrounding NFL players kneeling during the national anthem as a form of peaceful protest against police brutality.
Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, first kneeled during the national anthem in 2016 - sparking debate on if it is offensive or an expression of the First Amendment right to peacefully protest.
On Wednesday, the NFL star told Yahoo Finance he will not be supporting NFL players who choose to kneel during the national anthem in the upcoming 2020 season.
In the interview, Brees firmly stated: "I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country."
The 41-year-old NFL star was responding to a question about how George Floyd's death might lead players to kneel again.
It breaks my heart to know the pain I have caused."
His apology continued: "In an attempt to talk about respect, unity, and solidarity centered around the American flag and the national anthem, I made comments that were insensitive and completely missed the mark on the issues we are facing right now as a country.
"They lacked awareness and any type of compassion or empathy. Instead, those words have become divisive and hurtful and have misled people into believing that somehow I am an enemy.
"This could not be further from the truth, and is not an accurate reflection of my heart or my character."
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The president's tweet comes as protests have erupted in all 50 states and around the world over Mr Floyd's death in Minnesota.
The father died after former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin held his knee against the back of Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes, despite saying multiple times that he couldn't breathe.
His death was determined on Monday to be a homicide following a second, independent autopsy.
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