Super Bowl 2018: ‘No anthem protest’ – Donald Trump ‘victorious’ as players do not kneel | World | News

Super Bowl 2018: 'No anthem protest' – Donald Trump 'victorious' as players do not kneel | World | News 45

No players knelt during the national anthem ahead of the game between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles as they previously have.

Trump made a statement on the sacrifices of US troops saying Americans owed them the “greatest respect” ahead of the Super Bowl.

He said: “We hold them in our hearts and thank them for our freedom as we proudly stand for the National Anthem.”

Many players have taken the decision kneel during the anthem or link arms in protest of police violence against black people.

The protest proved hugely controversial with some fans booing amid claims it was disrespectful to troops and “the flag”.

Many jumped to the defence of players’ right to protest after Trump launch an attack in which he called for team owners to fire any “son of a b**ch” who kneeled.

Some owners responded to the demand by appearing on the pitch to link arms with their players ahead of games as a sign of unity.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said players “should” stand for the anthem but ruled out making a rule requiring them to.

Designing ratings for the American football league have been blamed on the kneeling protest by some as angry fans reportedly chose to turn off.

NFL ratings were down by 5.7 per cent on last season leading to panic from the league’s owners.

However, many have disputed claims it is down to anthem protests pointing to an even more severe decline in Nascar ratings.

In an address before the game, President Trump said: “We send our best wishes for an enjoyable Super Bowl Sunday.”

“May God bless and protect our troops, and may He continue to bless the United States of America.”

The US leader broke with tradition when he decided not to give a pre-game interview.

Trump is currently visiting his private Florida resort where he will host a Super Bowl party and watch the game.

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots were reportedly booed as they appeared on the field for Super Bowl 52.

Sky Sports pundit Josh Norman, who appeared in Super Bowl 50 with Carolina Panthers, has given a theory as to why.

Norman feels the crowd’s jeers were only because the Patriots, the reigning champions, are too successful.

Norman explained: “Nobody likes a winner. You can’t say it any better.

“They beat so many teams into submission that people don’t like them anymore.

“It’s obvious. The fans are from Philly, they are all piled in here.

“The Patriots fans have seen it before so it’s like ‘whatever’.”

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