NFL fans burn jerseys in protest at players’ kneeling during US national anthem

Robert Smith filmed himself setting light to his Pittsburgh Steelers top (YouTube)

American football fans have started burning their jerseys in protest at NFL players kneeling during the United States national anthem.

More teams have refused to stand while the national anthem plays after the practice drew criticism from Donald Trump.

But fans have begun filming themselves burning their team football tops because of the “disrespect” shown by the players.

The Dallas Cowboys, led by owner Jerry Jones, centre, take a knee before the national anthem was played (AP)

One woman burning her Baltimore Ravens clothing says in a YouTube video: ”You have problems with things, that’s great.

“But, you don’t disrespect the flag and you don’t disrespect the people that died for your freedoms.”

Pittsburgh Steelers fan Robert Smith also posted a video of himself burning his gear, telling viewers: “My great-uncle’s bones are lying in the bottom of Pearl Harbour for this country, for this flag, for your freedom to play in the NFL.”

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The anger among fans spilled over into the football field when Dallas Cowboy players dropped to their knee before the anthem was played.

Numerous boos rang out across the University of Phoenix Stadium as the Cowboys kneeled and continued as the players rose, still arm-in-arm, and stepped back to the sideline as the flag was unfurled across the field.

Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett defended the team kneeling before the anthem.

He said: ”The objectives, as much as anything else, was to somehow, some way demonstrate unity and demonstrate equality, and do so without any way involving the American flag and the national anthem.”

More than 200 NFL players in total kneeled, sat or prayed during the national anthem on Sunday after President Trump said any player who does not stand for the national anthem should be fired.

The protests started more than a year ago when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand during the anthem as a protest over police treatment of minorities.

Donald Trump has continued to criticise players for refusing to stand for the national anthem.

He tweeted today: “Ratings for NFL football are way down except before game starts, when people tune in to see whether or not our country will be disrespected!”

He added: “The booing at the NFL football game last night, when the entire Dallas team dropped to its knees, was loudest I have ever heard. Great anger.”