On football's biggest stage, meetings between the NFL and its players have much of the league talking up cooperative social activism in the wake of pregame protests across professional sports.

This is a contrast to the dozens of public statements by President Donald Trump, who has publicly ignored the NFL's stance on protesting players' pursuit of discussion on social equality and criminal justice reform, instead alleging that those who kneel during the national anthem are doing it to "disrespect" America.

But Trump isn't necessarily alone in applauding the "great anger" that he says stems from those peacefully protesting on the field.

Investigations by NBC's WXIA-TV (11Alive), which were relayed with additional reporting by Yahoo Sports, suggest that a "furious" state representative and local sheriff attempted -- and essentially succeeded -- in thwarting protests at the collegiate level.

When the Kennesaw State University administration started keeping its football team's cheerleaders off the field for the anthem, the reports indicate, it wasn't just a response to five of those cheerleaders kneeling during a Sept. 30 playing of the national anthem. It was also, as implied through text messages obtained by 11Alive, the result of pressure from Rep. Earl Ehrhart and sheriff Neil Warren.