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NFL players' defiant message to Donald Trump with protests

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NFL players at games all over America choose to kneel during the National Anthem after Donald Trump said he would 'love' to see them sacked.

NFL players demonstrated defiance towards Donald Trump on Sunday with various protests during the American national anthem.

A handful of players had previously knelt or raised fists during the national anthem over perceived racial injustice and on Friday Trump attacked those kneeling, calling for club owners to 'fire' those players.

Hunt TD run ices Chiefs win
Hunt TD run ices Chiefs win

Kareem Hunt scored on a 69-yard run late on to seal the Kansas City Chiefs' 24-10 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers.

However, week 3 of the NFL season saw widespread protests on Sunday, beginning with over 20 players taking a knee in London, at Wembley, before the Jacksonville Jaguars' victory over the Baltimore Ravens, live on Sky Sports.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 24:  Baltimore Ravens players kneel for the American National anthem during the NFL International Series match between Baltimor
Image: Baltimore Ravens players kneel for the American national anthem ahead of the NFL International Series match against Jacksonville Jaguars

Back in the States, the anthem was played at the Nissan Stadium in Tennessee where some teams went even further with both the Tennessee Titans and Seattle Seahawks squads remaining in the locker rooms during the singing of 'The Star-Spangled Banner'.

A statement from the Seahawks read: "As a team, we have decided we will not participate in the national anthem. We will not stand for the injustice that has plagued people of colour in this country.

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The Pittsburgh Steelers stayed in their locker room for the national anthem ahead of their game with Chicago Bears in protest at comments by President Trump

"Our of love for our country and in honour of the sacrifices made on our behalf, we unite to oppose those that would deny our most basic freedoms. We remain committed in continuing to work towards equality and justice for all."

Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Steelers players, who emerged to boos from the Chicago crowd, remained in the tunnel prior to their game against the Chicago Bears, although Alejandro Villanueva, who served three tours in Afghanistan with the US Army, stood alone at the end of the tunnel with his hand over his heart as the anthem played.

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CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 24:   Alejandro Villanueva #78 of the Pittsburgh Steelers stands by himself in the tunnel for the national anthem prior to the game
Image: Alejandro Villanueva of the Pittsburgh Steelers stands by himself in the tunnel for the national anthem prior to the game

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin had earlier told CBS: "We're football players, coaches, we're not participating in the anthem. Not to be disrespectful to the anthem, (but) to remove ourselves from the circumstance.

"People shouldn't have to choose, if a guy wants to go about his normal business and participate in the anthem, he shouldn't be forced to choose sides. If a guy feels the need to do something he shouldn't be separated from his
team-mate who chooses not to. So we're not participating. That's our decision."

In Washington, the vast majority of the Oakland Raiders players sat or knelt on the sideline with their arms locked.

WATCH: Wembley NFL protests
WATCH: Wembley NFL protests

The war-of-words between President Trump and the NFL showed no sign of abating at Wembley on Sunday.

The day had started with the scenes at Wembley, where those who did not kneel stood arm-in-arm on the sidelines with Jags and Fulham owner Shad Khan, who donated one million US dollars to Trump's presidential inauguration, on the field locking arm with members of his side.

Khan later issued a statement through the Jaguars' social media feed in which he called Trump's remarks "divisive and contentious" which followed numerous fellow club owners who had issued statements of their own condemning Trump's calls.

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 24: Washington Redskins players during the the national anthem before the game against the Oakland Raiders at FedExField on Septem
Image: Washington Redskins players lock arms during the national anthem before the game against the Oakland Raiders

The Jags' Malik Jackson referenced free agent Colin Kaepernick, the first NFL player to kneel, and admitted Khan's show of solidarity helped quell any fears about how their actions would be viewed.

"I think a lot of guys were nervous about doing it (kneeling) because they were worried about the backlash," Jackson told Press Association Sport.

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Tom Brady, Richard Sherman, Von Miller and others have their say on some NFL players' decision to kneel during the national anthem

"Guys have been treated unfairly, like the Kaepernick situation, because of his stance, and I think that was a deterrent for a lot of people, but having Mr Khan come down for me was a blessing because you don't have to worry about that backlash."

Throughout the day Trump continued to voice his views on social media demanding that players "respect" and honour the American flag.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who has previously described Trump as a friend, voiced his support for his team mates, who in large numbers took a knee during the national anthem.

Two singers during separate NFL games Sunday joined players' protests, kneeling at the conclusion of their renditions of 'The Star-Spangled Banner'.

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