'We stand!' - Lingerie Football League responds to anthem protests

A female American football league notorious for having its players compete in skimpy undies is firing back at the NFL's protest controversy.

The Legends Football League (LFL), formerly known as the Lingerie Football League, says its players will continue to stand for the national anthem - while dressed in as little as possible.

"The LFL recognises everyone's First Amendment right to protest, but our nation's flag and anthem are far too sacred," the league says in a statement.

"Too many fellow Americans have made the ultimate sacrifice, so that our flag and anthem continue in all its majesty."

The controversy started in 2016 when NFL player Colin Kaepernick didn't stand for the US national anthem, in protest against police brutality.

It recently got ratcheted up when US President Donald Trump referred to peacefully protesting NFL stars as "sons of bitches" who should be "fired", prompting several more teams to take a knee for the anthem.

The LFL says it released a formal statement at the request of "many" fans.