President Donald Trump has launched a petition asking for his supporters to show they stand with him in his criticism of National Football League (NFL) players who protest during the national anthem.
“The President has asked for a list of supporters who stand for the National Anthem. Add your name below to show your patriotism and support,” the petition reads, asking people to put in their name, email, and zip code into a GOP-branded website.
The petition is issued by the Trump Make America Great Again Committee, a fundraising organization for Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.
Trump has railed against players who protest during the anthem for weeks. His attacks began when he called players like quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who initiated the wave of silent protests last year, a “son of a bitch” during a stump speech for an Alabama Republican.
Since then the president has called for protesting NFL players to be fired, praised the “great anger” of fans who dislike the protests, and more. Pence also left a game between the Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers after seeing players kneel for the anthem, an action that upset many viewed as a high-profile PR stunt.
Earlier this month, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), a veterans advocacy group, found that 39 percent of soldiers who served in Afghanistan and Iraq said they disagreed with the protests and would boycott the NFL because of them. Meanwhile, 26 percent of the 8,000 people polled said they will keep watching the games and support the player’s right to protest.
However, a poll conducted by CNN and SSRS, a survey and market research firm, found that six in 10 Americans thought Trump was wrong for criticizing the players, despite many of them not believing the protests were the right thing to do.
Trump’s petition can be found here.