NFL Players Association calls for Veterans Day moment of silence at Sunday games

Nov 8 (Reuters) - The National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) on Wednesday unanimously passed a resolution calling on players to honor the Veterans Day Moment of Silence Act during Sunday's games.

The act, unanimously passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law by former President Barack Obama on Oct. 7, 2016, calls for all Americans to observe a two-minute moment of silence on Veterans Day.

Veterans Day this year falls on Saturday, Nov. 11, with a slate of 12 NFL games to be played on Sunday.

NFL players are calling on everyone in the league to observe this moment of silence together before the NFL games this weekend.

RELATED: A look at veterans at sporting events

13 PHOTOS
Veterans at sporting events
See Gallery
Veterans at sporting events
KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 08: Military veteran Hugh 'Coach' Dunn throws out the ceremonial first pitch prior to game one of the American League Division Series between the Kansas City Royals and the Houston Astros at Kauffman Stadium on October 8, 2015 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - AUGUST 23: Veterans unveil a new U.S. Postal Sevice stamp before a baseball game between the San Diego Padres and the St. Louis Cardinals at Petco Park August 23, 2015 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 19: World War II veteran and National Spokesman for the 78th Fighter Squadron Jerry Yellin shakes hands with Joe Maddon #70 of the Chicago Cubs before the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Detroit Tigers at Wrigley Field on August 19, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - JULY 04: The field is lined with United States Military Veterans during a pre-game ceremony to honor Independence Day prior to the game between the Detroit Tigers and the Toronto Blue Jays at Comerica Park on July 4, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Blue Jays 8-3. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 30: (L-R) former NASA astronaut and commander of the Apollo 13 mission, Captain James A. Lovell, Vietnam veteran Captain Charles Pyne and Brian Graf of the US Air Force, stand next to singer Jim Cornelison as the national anthem is sung prior to the NHL game between the Los Angeles Kings and the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center on March 30, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)
Nov 5, 2017; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson (90) visits a disabled veteran at the halftime of a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 25: Former Dodger Sergeant Roy Gleason is among a group of Vietnam Veterans recognized before Game 2 of the 2017 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 25: Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. greets Vietnam Veterans who are recognized before Game 2 of the 2017 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 25: Vietnam Veterans Colonel Jay Vargas, Staff Sergeant Bill Hutton, Captain Jon Williams, Captain Charlie Plumb, Colonel Jerry Knotts, and former Dodger Sergeant Roy Gleason are recognized before Game 2 of the 2017 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 03: Brayton Paul, a 98 year old World War II veteran, attends his 1st Major League Baseball game, the game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on August 3, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - JUNE 10: Armed Forces veterans prepare to be honored during the MLB game between the Los Angeles Angels and Houston Astros on June 10, 2107 at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals fans pay tribute to Veterans Day before the start of their game against the New York Giants in their NFL football game at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio, November 11, 2012. REUTERS/John Sommers II (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

The NFLPA did not immediately return calls to clarify whether the resolution included players standing to observe the moment of silence or if they would continue to take a knee in what has been a season-long protest over racial injustice that has polarized Americans.

Each week a number of NFL players have taken to kneeling during the national anthem to protest the killing by police of unarmed black men and boys across the United States, as well as racial disparities in the criminal justice system. More than half of all NFL players are black.

The protests began in 2016 when Colin Kaepernick, then a San Francisco 49ers quarterback, began sitting and later kneeling during the anthem to call attention to these issues.

The sight of players kneeling has infuriated President Donald Trump, who has threatened to use tax laws to penalize NFL team owners for not forcing players to stand.

He also escalated the controversy in September when he suggested owners should fire any "son of a bitch" who refused to stand for the anthem. (Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto, editing by G Crosse)

RELATED: Pro athletes protesting during the national anthem

19 PHOTOS
Pro athletes protesting during the national anthem
See Gallery
Pro athletes protesting during the national anthem
Sep 10, 2017; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers tight end Martellus Bennett (80) holds his fist in the air during the national anthem prior to the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 10: Michael Bennett #72 of the Seattle Seahawks sits on the bench during the national anthem prior to the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on September 10, 2017 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Bennett was controversially detained by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department on August 27, after the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor UFC fight. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 26: Offensive tackle Cameron Jefferson #60 of the Buffalo Bills raises his arm and makes a fist during the national anthem before playing against the Baltimore Ravens during a preseason game at M&T Bank Stadium on August 26, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 27: Eric Reid #35 of the San Francisco 49ers kneels dugout the National Anthem before the preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings on August 27, 2017 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 21: A group of Cleveland Browns players kneel in a circle in protest during the national anthem prior to a preseason game against the New York Giants at FirstEnergy Stadium on August 21, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Aug 21, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Members of the Cleveland Browns kneel during the national anthem before a game against the New York Giants at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 17: Malcolm Jenkins #27 of the Philadelphia Eagles holds his fist in the air while Chris Long #56 of the Philadelphia Eagles puts his arm around him during the national anthem prior to the preseason game against the Buffalo Bills at Lincoln Financial Field on August 17, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - SEPTEMBER 12: Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers kneels in protest during the national anthem prior to playing the Los Angeles Rams in their NFL game at Levi's Stadium on September 12, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - OCTOBER 02: (L-R) Rashard Robinson #33, Antoine Bethea #41, and Jaquiski Tartt #29 of the San Francisco 49ers raise their fists in protest during the national anthem prior to the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Levi's Stadium on October 2, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 25: Brandon Marshall #54 of the Denver Broncos takes a knee in protest during the National Anthem before the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio.The Broncos defeated the Bengals 29-17. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 22: Duane Brown #76 of the Houston Texans raises his fist during the national anthem before the game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on September 22, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 18: Kenny Stills #10 of the Miami Dolphins (C) kneels during the national anthem before the game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on September 18, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Philadelphia Eagles players Steven Means (51), Malcolm Jenkins (27) and Ron Brooks (33) raise their fists in the air during the national anthem for a game against the Chicago Bears on Monday, Sept. 19, 2016 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Ill. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
Sep 8, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos inside linebacker Brandon Marshall (54) kneels during the national anthem next to defensive end Jared Crick (93) and defensive tackle Billy Winn (97) and defensive tackle Adam Gotsis (99) before the game against the Carolina Panthers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
SANTA CLARA, CA - SEPTEMBER 12: Kenny Britt #18 and Robert Quinn #94 of the Los Angeles Rams raise their fists in protest prior to playing the San Francisco 49ers in their NFL game at Levi's Stadium on September 12, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 06: Miami Dolphins Safety Michael Thomas (31) and Miami Dolphins Wide Receiver Kenny Stills (10) kneel in protest during signing of the National Anthem during the NFL football game between the New York Jets and the Miami Dolphins on November 6, 2016, at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL. (Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - OCTOBER 06: (L-R) Eli Harold #58, Colin Kaepernick #7, and Eric Reid #35 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel in protest during the national anthem prior to their NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi's Stadium on October 6, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
JACKSONVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 25: Hayes Pullard #52 of the Jacksonville aJaguars nd Dante Fowler #56 raise their fists in protest during the singing of the national anthem before the game against the Baltimore Ravens at EverBank Field on September 25, 2016 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.