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NFL to Air Ad Promoting Unity in Wake of Trump Attacks on Anthem Protests

The NFL plans to air an ad promoting unity following President Donald Trump’s campaign to “fire or suspend” National Anthem protestors.

The one-minute ad, originally produced for the Super Bowl earlier this year, will run during NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” telecast.

“We think this is the single best response to demonstrate what we are about,” an NFL spokesman told CNN, which first reported the news.

“Inside these lines, we don’t have to come from the same place to help each other reach the same destination,” Forest Whitaker intones in the ad. “Inside these lines, we may have our differences, but recognize there’s more that unites us.”

This comes as a reaction to a feud that ignited over the weekend between Trump and the NFL. On Friday, Trump told a rally in Alabama, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say: ‘Get that son of a b— off the field right now, out. He’s fired. He’s fired!’”

The president’s comment referred to players who have kneeled during the National Anthem as a form of protest of racial injustice in the U.S.

In a rare statement of a political issue, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell called Trump’s remarks “divisive,” and said they “demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL.”

Trump escalated his demands on Sunday morning by calling for fans to boycott the NFL. “You will see change take place fast,” Trump tweeted. “Fire or suspend!”

Several NFL players have been vocal on social media in reaction to Trump’s comments. Dozens of Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens players took a knee or locked arms during their game on Sunday. The Pittsburgh Steelers head coach also announced that the team will stay in the locker room and skip the anthem during their game on Sunday.

DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association, tweeted on Saturday, “We will never back down. We no longer can afford to stick to sports.”

Watch the ad below:

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