Three teams stayed off the field during the anthem entirely.
In his off-the-cuff speech, Trump criticized any NFL player who decide to take a knee while the national anthem is performed.
U.S. live television coverage of the Dolphins-Saints game on the Fox Sports network showed only one, fleeting wide-angle image of the kneeling Dolphins players. Most war veterans and senior citizens are appalled by the players and clubs disregard of the thousands of lives that were laid down to defend the stars and stripes of the American flag. As a result, players on almost every National Football League team showed some type of solidarity by kneeling or linking arms before Sunday's games.
"By no means, by no way shape or form, was there any disrespect intended towards our troops and those who serve this country", he told ESPN, adding the team has "the utmost respect for them".
The means of protest was started a year ago by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who said that he would not stand "to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color".
Receiver Dez Bryant said the Cowboys will stand for the national anthem before Sunday's home game against the Los Angeles Rams at AT&T Stadium and won't handle it the same way they did Monday night at Arizona.
An Arizona Cardinals fan holds a sign before the start of the NFL game against the San Francisco 49ers
The Saints players knelt together as a team before the national anthem and then stood together during the playing of the anthem, performed by Darius Rucker, in a planned show of unity.
"The NFL has all sorts of rules and regulations", the President wrote.
Ignoring the players who dared to protest surely will please Trump, who tweeted Saturday, "Very important that NFL players STAND tomorrow, and always, for the playing of our National Anthem". Most of the standing players had their hands on their hearts and the other on the shoulder of their teammate in front. Trump said National Football League owners should fire any "son of a bitch" who knelt or sat during the anthem.
Relatively few players had demonstrated before Trump's remarks.
"Now more than ever we must find solutions that unite and don't divide us.Regarding the issues of social injustice, I stand ready to offer our organizations, our players, and our community meaningful support and resources to move from protest to solution". "And I think it's disgraceful", he said, without elaborating. I'm letting that. I don't even want to think about it.