09:25 GMT +308 December 2019
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    U.S. President Donald Trump arrives to addresses the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S

    A Tweet Too Far: Twitter Explodes Over Trump's Feud With 'Unpatriotic' Athletes

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    President Donald Trump got embroiled in a new Twitter war over the weekend, angering sports fans with remarks about NFL players' alleged lack of patriotism during the playing of the national anthem. Trump's comments have prompted a tidal wave of angry tweets from major sports stars and ordinary fans alike.

    Taking time out of his busy schedule of Twitter-based attacks on everything from Iran's missile program to North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, President Trump took aim at the professional sports crowd on Saturday, using his trademark 'You're Fired' phrase against NFL players who refused to stand during the national anthem in protest against perceived racial injustice. Hours earlier, Trump publically withdrew an invitation for NBA champions the Golden State Warriors to visit the White House after MVP Stephen Curry told reporters that he would sit out the trip. 

    Trump's attacks prompted an instant backlash from US pro athletes, including NBA superstars LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, along with NFL players and coaches who slammed the president for the divisive nature of his comments and questioned his focus on professional sports, given all the problems the country is facing.

    Undeterred, Trump doubled down on his comments Sunday, asking the NFL to 'fire or suspend' players who 'disrespect our Flag & Country'.

    Trump's remarks prompted a tidal wave of comments unusual even for his highly active Twitter page, with users posting literally hundreds of thousands of replies marking disagreement with the president.

    Others, however, rushed to defend Trump, agreeing that taking a knee during the national anthem was 'unAmerican,' and that the 'liberal NFL' would lose viewers if they didn't discipline players.

    The act of taking a knee during the national anthem was first popularized by NFL San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2016. Kaepernick took the form of protest in 2016 in response to a spate of police violence against African Americans. Kaepernick's action has sparked similar protests in other professional sports. These actions by NFL players prompted Trump to tell a crowd that taking a knee is "total disrespect of everything that we stand for," and his recommendation to NFL owners to "fire" players who 'disrespect America's heritage.'

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    Twitter, tweets, National Basketball Association, National Football League, Donald Trump, United States
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