Ben Roethlisberger regrets Steelers boycotting anthem; Trump supports fan boos

Ben Roethlisberger on Monday afternoon released a statement saying he regretted his Pittsburgh Steelers boycotting the national anthem on Sunday. 

The NFL team was the first of three to not come out for the pre-game ritual. 

"I was unable to sleep last night and want to share my thoughts and feelings on our team’s decision to remain in the tunnel for the National Anthem yesterday," the Super Bowl-winning QB said in a statement. "The idea was to be unified as a team when so much attention is paid to things dividing our country, but I wish we approached it differently. We did not want to appear divided on the sideline with some standing and some kneeling or sitting.

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NFL players, owners protest after Trump's harsh criticism
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NFL players, owners protest after Trump's harsh criticism
Sep 24, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts players kneel during the playing of the National Anthem before the game against the Cleveland Browns at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 24: Baltimore Ravens players kneel for the American National anthem during the NFL International Series match between Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium on September 24, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 25: Members of the Dallas Cowboys link arms and kneel during the National Anthem before the start of the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 25, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
NFL Football - Jacksonville Jaguars vs Baltimore Ravens - NFL International Series - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - September 24, 2017 Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan links arms with players during the national anthems before the match Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 24: (L-R) Wide recceivers Chris Moore and Breshad Perriman of the Baltimore Ravens pray prior to kickoff during the NFL match between The Jacksonville Jaguars and The Baltimore Ravens at Wembley Stadium on September 24, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mitchell Gunn/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 24: Jacksonville Jaguar players show their protest during the National Anthem during the NFL International Series match between Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium on September 24, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
NFL Football - Jacksonville Jaguars vs Baltimore Ravens - NFL International Series - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - September 24, 2017 Patrick Omameh of the Jacksonville Jaguars kneels during the U.S. national anthem before the match Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers
NFL Football - Jacksonville Jaguars vs Baltimore Ravens - NFL International Series - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - September 24, 2017 Jacksonville Jaguars players kneel during the U.S. national anthem before the match Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs
NFL Football - Jacksonville Jaguars vs Baltimore Ravens - NFL International Series - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - September 24, 2017 Jacksonville Jaguars players kneel during the U.S. national anthem before the match Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 24: Jacksonville Jaguar players show their protest during the National Anthem during the NFL International Series match between Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium on September 24, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 24: (Editors Note: This image has been turned black and white) Jacksonville Jaguars enter te stadium during the NFL International Series match between Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium on September 24, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
Sep 24, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills players kneel in protest during the National Anthem before a game against the Denver Broncos at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 24, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Denver Bronco players kneel in protest during the National Anthem before a game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 25, 2017; Glendale, AZ, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) and teammates stand next to service members holding a giant US flag during the national anthem prior to the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 24, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; The Cleveland Browns team stand and kneel during the National Anthem before the start of their game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 24, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Members of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers link arms during the national anthem prior to the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 24, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin (44) middle linebacker Tahir Whitehead (59) running back Ameer Abdullah (21) outside linebacker Steve Longa (54) defensive end Jeremiah Ledbetter (98) defensive end Armonty Bryant (97) defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson (91) and defensive end Cornelius Washington (90) kneel during the national anthem before the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
September 24, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets players lock arms during the national anthem before the game against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 24, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Members of the Denver Broncos kneel during the playing of the national anthem prior to a game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 25, 2017; Glendale, AZ, USA; The Dallas Cowboys players, coaches and staff take a knee prior to the National Anthem before the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 24, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Jacksonville Jaguars players kneel during the playing of the United Sates national anthem before a NFL International Series game against the Baltimore Ravens at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 24, 2017; Foxborough, MA, USA; Members of the New England Patriots take a knee during the national anthem before a game against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 24, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Some of the Miami Dolphins take a knee during the anthem prior to the game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 24, 2017; Foxborough, MA, USA; Members of the New England Patriots kneel for the national anthem before the start of the game against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
NFL Football - Jacksonville Jaguars vs Baltimore Ravens - NFL International Series - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - September 24, 2017 Jacksonville Jaguars players kneel during the U.S. national anthem before the match Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs
NFL Football - Jacksonville Jaguars vs Baltimore Ravens - NFL International Series - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - September 24, 2017 Patrick Omameh of the Jacksonville Jaguars kneels during the U.S. national anthem before the match Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Sep 24, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; Oakland Raiders players sit on the bench during the national anthem prior to their game against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 24, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder stands with cornerback Josh Norman (24) and cornerback Bashaud Breeland (26) and safety D.J. Swearinger (36) during the playing of the national anthem before the game between the Washington Redskins and the Oakland Raiders at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 24, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; Oakland Raiders players sit on the bench during the national anthem prior to their game against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 24, 2017; Carson, CA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Marcus Peters (22) protests next to running back Charcandrick West (35) and defensive tackle Roy Miller (98) during the National Anthem prior to the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at StubHub Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 24, 2017; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers tight end Lance Kendricks (84) and tight end Martellus Bennett (80) sit on the bench during the national anthem prior to the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 24, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Recording artist Meghan Linsey kneels after singing the national anthem before the game between the Tennessee Titans and the Seattle Seahawks at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
September 24, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets players lock arms during the national anthem before the game against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
NFL Football - Jacksonville Jaguars vs Baltimore Ravens - NFL International Series - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - September 24, 2017 Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan links arms with players during the national anthems before the match Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 24: Members of the Chicago Bears stand arm-in-arm during the National Anthem before a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Soldier Field on September 24, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CARSON, CA - SEPTEMBER 24: Justin Houston #50 of the Kansas City Chiefs is seen taking a knee during the National Anthem before the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at the StubHub Center on September 24, 2017 in Carson, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
NFL Football - Jacksonville Jaguars vs Baltimore Ravens - NFL International Series - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - September 24, 2017 General view during the national anthems before the match Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers
At the start of the game protestors take a knee in support of the movement started by NFL player Colin Kaepernick, outside Lincoln Financial Field, in South Philadelphia, PA, on September 24, 2017. Similar protest are staged around the nation after US President Donald Trump named Kaepernick a Son of A Bitch at a recent rally. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 25: Strong safety Tyvon Branch #27 of the Arizona Cardinals links arms with staff and players during the National Anthem before the start of the NFL game against the Dallas Cowboys at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 25, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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He continued, "As a team, it was not a protest of the flag or the Anthem. I personally don’t believe the Anthem is ever the time to make any type of protest. For me, and many others on my team and around the league, it is a tribute to those who commit to serve and protect our country, current and past, especially the ones that made the ultimate sacrifice."

The other two teams to not come out for the anthem were the Tennessee Titans and Seattle Seahawks.

President Donald Trump on Monday morning continued to hammer away at the topic of professional athletes who sit out the national anthem. 

That debate was the main headline for most major news organizations over the weekend after the president, during a speech Friday night, criticized NFL players who boycott the anthem, calling those who participate a "son of a bitch." 

Trumps remarks were blasted by players; numerous team owners came out against the former reality TV host and said they supported their players' right to peacefully protest. And many players did so during the Sunday games. 

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Ben Roethlisberger throughout his career
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Ben Roethlisberger throughout his career
24 April 2004: Ben Roethlisberger selected 11th overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 2004 NFL Draft at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY. (Photo by Bob Leverone/Sporting News via Getty Images)
OXFORD, OH - SEPTEMBER 7: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks looks on during a game against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Yager Stadium on September 7, 2002 in Oxford, Ohio. The Hawkeyes won 29-24. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
1 Sep 2001: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Miami Ohio Redhawks throwing the ball during the game against the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Wolverines defeated the Redhawks 31-13.Mandatory Credit: Danny Moloshok /Allsport
24 April 2004: Ben Roethlisberger selected 11th overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 2004 NFL Draft at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY. (Photo by Bob Leverone/Sporting News via Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH - AUGUST 21: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers on the sideline during the Pittsburgh Steelers 38-3 preseason game win over the Houston Texans on August 21, 2004 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - JANUARY 31: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers records a video while arriving at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport on January 31, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. The Pittsburgh Steelers will play the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV on February 6, 2011 at Cowboys Stadium. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 6: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on from the field before a game against the Oakland Raiders at Heinz Field on December 6, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Raiders defeated the Steelers 27-24. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 22: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers warming up before a game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on November 22, 2009 in Kansas City, Missouri. The Chiefs defeated the Steelers 27-24. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - FEBRUARY 06: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates after Rashard Mendenhall #34 ran for an eight yard touchdown against the Green Bay Packers in the third quarter of Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium on February 6, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 06: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers warms up prior to playing the Oakland Raiders on December 6, 2009 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - FEBRUARY 06: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers calls a play in the huddle against the Green Bay Packers during Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium on February 6, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. The Packers won 31-25. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 06: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates a second quarter touchdown while playing the Oakland Raiders on December 6, 2009 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 23: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 and Running Back Rashard Mendenhall #34 of the Pittsburgh Steelers enjoy the presentation of the Lamar Hunt Tropy after a win against the New York Jets during the AFC Championship Game at Heinz Field on January 23, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Steelers beat the Jets, 24-19, to advance to the Super Bowl. (Photo by Al Pereira/New York Jets/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - FEBRUARY 06: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers throws a pass against the Green Bay Packers during Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium on February 6, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. The Packers won 31-25. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 15: NFL player Ben Roethlisberger (C) accepts the award for Best Game, Steelers vs. Cardinals Super Bowl XLIII on behalf of the Pittsburgh Steelers onstage during the 2009 ESPY Awards held at Nokia Theatre LA Live on July 15, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. The 17th annual ESPYs will air on Sunday, July 19 at 9PM ET on ESPN. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - FEBRUARY 06: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on against the Green Bay Packers during Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium on February 6, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - FEBRUARY 06: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on against the Green Bay Packers during Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium on February 6, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 18: Injured quarterback Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers talks to offensive linemen Maurkice Pouncey #53 and Ramon Foster #73 during a game against the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field on November 18, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Ravens defeated the Steelers 13-10. The Steelers wore throwback uniforms based on the uniform worn by the Steelers in 1934. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 12: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs with the ball in the first half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Heinz Field on November 12, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Steelers Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in action during the New York Giants V Pittsburgh Steelers NFL American Football match at MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ, USA. 4th November 2012. Photo Tim Clayton (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 02: Super Bowl Champion Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger visits 'Late Show with David Letterman' at the Ed Sullivan Theater on February 2, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Jeffrey Ufberg/WireImage)
Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh greets injured Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger before their game on Sunday, November 18, 2012, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Doug Kapustin/MCT via Getty Images)
Steelers Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger during the New York Giants V Pittsburgh Steelers NFL American Football match at MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ, USA. 4th November 2012. Photo Tim Clayton (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 09: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers passes the ball against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on November 9, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Pereira/New York Jets/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 09: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on against the New York Jets during a game at MetLife Stadium on November 9, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 09: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in action against the New York Jets on November 9, 2014 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jets defeated the Steelers 20-13. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - AUGUST 26: John Kuhn #29 of the New Orleans Saints talks after a preseason game with Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on August 26, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Steelers defeated the Saints 27-14. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 12: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in action during the game against the Detroit Lions on August 12, 2016 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 09: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in action during the game against the New York Jets on October 9, 2016 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 09: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on from the bench while playing the New York Jets at Heinz Field on October 9, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh won the game 31-13. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 09: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers throws a pass while playing the New York Jets at Heinz Field on October 9, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - JANUARY 15: Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) before the AFC Divisional playoff game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs on January 15, 2017 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MP - JANUARY 15: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers and quarterback Alex Smith #11 of the Kansas City Chiefs talk on the field post game in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - JANUARY 15: Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) hands off to running back Le'Veon Bell (26) in the third quarter of the AFC Divisional playoff game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs on January 15, 2017 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO. The Steelers won 18-16 to advance to the AFC Championship game. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 24: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers calls out a formation against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on September 24, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Steelers 23-17 in overtime. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 17: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on before taking the snap during an NFL football game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 17, 2017 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) and coach Mike Tomlin listen to the National Anthem before the start of Super Bowl XLV where the Green Bay Packers face the Pittsburgh Steelers at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, February 6, 2011. (Mark Cornelison/Lexington Herald-Leader/MCT via Getty Images)
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There were reports of some booing at stadiums, which Trump said Monday morning he enjoyed hearing. He also said once again the issue is not about race. 

"Many people booed the players who kneeled yesterday (which was a small percentage of total). These are fans who demand respect for our Flag!" Trump tweeted. "The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!" 

Last season, free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the first to sit out the national anthem in protest of the treatment of African-Americans in America, especially at the hands of police officers. Since then, numerous other players have protested in similar fashion in a number of different sports.

While the president claims the issue has nothing to do with race, some sports commentators, such as Dan Patrick, asked where Trump's same anger and passion was when a woman was killed in Charlottesville, Va., while she protested a white nationalist rally. Sunday Night Football commentator Cris Collinsworth said on air that Trump owed players an apology. Bob Costas also during SNF said it was Kaepernick would did the patriotic act when he sat out the anthem and sparked a new conversation about racial inequality.

Both NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and the players' union released statements condemning Trump's remarks. 

Even the player Trump brags about being pals with, Tom Brady, pushed back against the comments. 

“I thought it was just divisive,” Brady told Boston radio WEEI’s “Kirk & Callahan" during his routine Monday morning interview. “Like I said, I just want to support my teammates. I believe in bringing people together and respect and love and trust. Those are the values that my parents instilled in me and it’s how I try to live every day.”

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