In wake of the NFL's controversial decision to force players to stand for the national anthem, a group of protesters led by Women's March leader Tamika D. Mallory and the National Action Network challenged the NFL in front of their headquarters Friday. 

Mallory condemned Commissioner Roger Goodell for bending to President Donald Trump by spearheading a policy that punishes players for protesting racism and police brutality in the country.  

“What is being said is that the n**gas don’t have basic rights,” Mallory said. “And I want to say today that Ida B. Wells, Dr. Martin Luther King, Marcus Garvey, the four little girls in Birmingham, [Alabama] are turning over in their graves right now about the disrespect, the disgrace, that is happening in this country. If we as black people lay down and allow this system to continue to oppress us, we are the ones to be held responsible.”

NFL owners decided earlier this week on a policy preventing players from kneeling during the anthem on game day. Players who disobey this new rule will face fines from the league and their respective team. They have been instructed to stay in the locker rooms if they felt compelled to protest.

And in some cases, if they refused, there would be a penalty enforced in a game that could hurt their team on the field. 

“You can’t fear these owners and be free at the same time,” Rev. Mark Thompson said at the protest. “It’s a contradiction. You have no fear of permanent brain injury, but you’re afraid of some owners? All of that money in the world will not protect you from permanent brain injury and an early death. But you’re afraid of standing up to some owners? That makes no sense at all.”

Those who were in attendance weren't shy about how they felt about President Donald Trump either.

In the past year, Trump has become the face of the those who criticize the athletes who protest, which was launched by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Trump called protesting players "sons of b**ches" last year, and he told "Fox and Friends" hosts on Thursday that kneeling players should not be playing nor live in the country if they continued to protest. 

While the policy certainly makes it difficult for players to express their freedom of speech, activists are not standing down and will keep the pressure on. 

“It has reinvigorated the movement,” Mallory said. “You will see that for people who were on the fence about whether or not to watch the game turn the TV off and to be less engaged. [The NFL] created more of a divide, and it won’t be one-sided.”