Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long (56) stands with strong safety Malcolm Jenkins

(Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Long, NFL Players On New Anthem Rule: 'This Is Not Patriotism'

Chris Long's response mentioned President Donald Trump and says the "owners don't love America more than the players." 

May 24, 2018 - 9:28 am

ATLANTA (AP) —After a tumultuous season, NFL owners wrapped up their spring meeting in Atlanta by announcing Wednesday that players would be required to stand for the national anthem if they're on the field before a game, but gave them the option of staying in the locker room if they wanted to carry on the Colin Kaepernick-inspired campaign against police brutality and social injustice.

Commissioner Roger Goodell called it a compromise that respected the wishes of everyone, from those who consider "The Star-Spangled Banner" a sacred part of the American experience to those who believe the right to protest during the anthem is also in the best tradition of a free but imperfect society.

Related story: Stand or Stay Out Of Sight: NFL Takes on Anthem Protesters

The response by Chris Long, a former St. Louis Rams defensive lineman, was one of the most shared Tweets regarding the new rule. His message mentions President Donald Trump and says the "owners don't love America more than the players." 

Trump praised the NFL's new policy, saying "maybe you shouldn't be in the country" if you don't stand for the anthem. 

"I think that's good," Trump said in a taped interview on "Fox & Friends" Wednesday. "I don't think people should be staying in the locker rooms, but still I think it's good. You have to stand proudly for the national anthem. Or you shouldn't be playing, you shouldn't be there. 

Malcolm Jenkins, a teammate of Long and fellow Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl champion, says this rule will not "thwart the players' constitutional rights." 

Other players shared GIF's to describe their reaction and some believe the rule change won't help the NFL's ratings or revenue. 

One owner that seems to be on the side of the players is New York Jets chairman Christopher Johnson. He has promised to pay the fine to the league if any of his players decided to still kneel during the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

AP Sports Writer PAUL NEWBERRY contributed to this report