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College football's title game will have protests, too

09 January 2018

Donald Trump's garbled version of the U.S. national anthem at a college football game on Tuesday (NZ time) has people talking.

"Black lives matter! Women's lives matter and immigrants' lives matter!" protesters chanted, some opening umbrellas against the rain.

President Donald Trump has taken the field before Alabama and Georgia face off in the College Football Playoff National Championship in Atlanta.

ESPN, which televised the game, said Sunday that a game-time interview with Trump was unlikely.

Still, they said, "we will not let the President's visit go without a response".

While the NAACP said that they would not be part of the planned protest, the civil right organization did encourage people at the game to wear white.

Tens of thousands of fans filling the $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta greeted Trump with cheers and a smattering of boos as ROTC members escorted him onto the field for the national anthem.

Atlanta's NAACP chapter said on its Facebook page that it wants fans inside the stadium for the College Football Playoff title game to waive white towels "simulating a blizzard". "Trump supporters mockingly call the opposition snowflakes, but when we come together we create a mighty storm".

Another group, Refuse Fascism ATL, said it was planning a demonstration outside CNN's world headquarters near Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Atlanta police set up designated areas for demonstrations and had previously said they wouldn't interfere unless protesters break the law.

Atlanta police say they worked with the Secret Service on preparations for months before the College Football Championship game between Alabama and Georgia. Another group says demonstrators will "take a knee" before the big game to protest President Donald Trump's visit to Atlanta.

Trump, who has criticized professional athletes for kneeling during the National Anthem, appeared in good spirits on the field Monday - and then after the anthem, he left to take his seat for the game.