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Don't dis mom, says NFL

President Donald Trump probably didn't realize he'd struck such a nerve with NFL players when he implored team owners to "get that son of a bitch off the field" for protesting during the national anthem.

The line drew loud applause at the president's political rally in Huntsville, Alabama, but the words cut deep into America's most popular sports league, where the majority of players are black and many of them grew up in tough neighbourhoods, raised by strong women.

"I'm a son of a queen," an emotional Falcons defensive lineman Grady Jarrett said.

"There are no SOBs in this league," Lions coach Jim Caldwell said Sunday, when at least 200 NFL players either knelt, sat, stretched or prayed during the "Star Spangled Banner" to protest Trump's remarks. Three teams didn't even take the field until the national anthem was over.

The protest campaign that started last year with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was down to just six players last week. But Trump's weekend attack on athletes sparked angry reactions from around the sports world and drew defiance from most of the NFL.

He suggested the NFL was going soft for cracking down on big hits. He uninvited the NBA champions Golden State Warriors to the White House after Stephen Curry and other players indicated they weren't sure they would accept the invitation.

Players, owners and commissioners past and present chastised the president for his divisive remarks, but the angriest responses came from players upset that he'd insulted their mothers.

"Once again, this is a tragedy in this country that we have to sit here and still have these discussions," Browns rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer said following a 31-28 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. "I know for a fact that I'm no son of a bitch, and I plan on continuing forward and doing whatever I can from my position to promote the equality that's needed in this country."



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