Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday credited the Trump administration with pushing the NFL to require players to stand for the national anthem.
"#Winning," Pence wrote on Twitter, along with an American flag emoji, attaching a picture of the CNN headline: "NFL requires players on field to stand for anthem."
CNN called the new league rule a "stunning victory" for President Donald Trump, who famously said during his 2016 campaign that "winning" would differentiate his administration from others.
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) May 23, 2018
NFL owners voted Wednesday to fine players who do not stand during the anthem. Commissioner Roger Goodell made the announcement, noting that players who do not wish to stand could stay in the locker room for the anthem's playing.
"This season, all league and team personnel shall stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem," Goodell said in a statement. "Personnel who choose not to stand for the anthem may stay in the locker room until after the anthem has been performed."
Trump promised "so much winning" during his presidential run, leading the word to become a kind of catch phrase for his campaign and supporters. He told his supporters they would be "tired of winning" and proud of America.
The issue of NFL players protesting the national anthem became a major news story last year after Trump lambasted quarterback Colin Kaepernick and others for kneeling during the anthem. He said the NFL should respond to such protests by firing players who participate.
Kaepernick said he began the protest to respond to police brutality and systemic racism, and other players later joined his protest. Although a majority of players did not kneel, the NFL Players' Association said it would examine the new policy, on which the organization was not consulted.
"Our union will review the new ‘policy' and challenge any aspect of it that is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement," the NFLPA said.