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49ers Reid Protest Football
FILE - Int his Monday, Sept. 12, 2016, file photo, San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid (35) and quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) kneel during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams in Santa Clara, Calif. Reid has resumed his kneeling protest for human rights during the national anthem, after joining then-teammate Kaepernick's polarizing demonstration last season. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

The NFL plans to air an ad promoting unity following Trump's attacks on national anthem protesters


Updated September 24, 2017 12:06 PM EDT

The NFL plans to run an ad produced for Super Bowl LI during NBC's "Sunday Night Football" telecast, according to a CNN exclusive report.

The ad, titled "Inside These Lines," was originally meant to "demonstrate the power of football to bring people together."

"We think this is the single best response to demonstrate what we are about," an NFL spokesman told CNN.

The main message in the ad is unity on the field.

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

The NFL reportedly made the decision to re-purpose the ad after President Donald Trump called for players who kneel during the national anthem to be fired.

Updated September 24, 2017 09:51 AM EDT

CBS and Fox have said they will air the national anthem live Sunday, according to Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch.

President Donald Trump took another shot at the NFL Sunday morning, tweeting that fans should boycott games because of the players who kneel during the national anthem.

"If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast," Trump tweeted.

This isn't the first time Trump has sounded off about the national anthem protests. On Friday night, Trump spoke at a rally in Huntsville, Alabama and said, "Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you'd say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He's fired.'"

Trump sounds off about the NFL national anthem protests

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell issued a statement Saturday, firing back at the president and calling the remarks he made in Alabama "divisive."

"The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture. There is no better example than the amazing response from our clubs and players to the terrible natural disasters we've experienced over the last month," Goodell said. "Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities."

Several NFL owners have echoed Goodell's response to Trump's comments, calling for unity.

Although former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who started taking a knee during the national anthem last year to protest the treatment of black people by police, is still a free agent, many other players have vowed to continue what he started.

Tampa Bay receiver Desean Jackson has already promised to make "a statement" during this weekend's game.

And soon, the NFL may not be the only professional sports league participating in national anthem protests.

On Saturday, Oakland A's catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first MLB player to take a knee during the national anthem.

Bruce Maxwell
Oakland Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell kneels during the national anthem before the start of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. Bruce Maxwell of the Oakland Athletics has become the first major league baseball player to kneel during the national anthem. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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