Goodell: NFL believes players should stand for anthem

NFL and Players Association Issue Joint Statement Amid Protests: Nothing Resolved

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell restated the league's desire for its players to stand for the National Anthem but did not issue any mandate or threaten any discipline to those who have chosen to protest by kneeling.

United States President Donald Trump has accused the NFL of showing "total disrespect" for the United States by not forcing players to stand during the national anthem. "About issues in our communities to make our communities better", Goodell said at a news conference following a meeting between officials and team owners in NY.

The NFL is not changing its national anthem policy to require players to stand during the national anthem. According to a report, the owners were considering a rule that would force all players to stand while the anthem plays during their meetings this week. The league invited players and representatives from their union to discuss social issues. "The players we met with today were deeply emotional and knowledgeable about the issues they're passionate about. Communities that I've come from", he said. Instead, he said, the team owners generally agreed it was important to listen to players' concerns.

The president has made the protests, mainly acted out by kneeling during the pre-game national anthem, a central part of his nationalist rhetoric in recent weeks as he attempts to reframe the quest for equality as an anti-patriotic gesture.

"Our players are men of great character", Goodell said at the conference.

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Trump first weighed in on the protest debate in a speech in Alabama last month, saying, "get that son of a bitch off the field", his suggestion for how National Football League owners should handle protesting players. "In the best American tradition, we are coming together to find common ground and commit to the hard work required for positive change".

Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said on Wednesday that the meetings were "all good". "We had a real focus on making sure all of our teams understood the kind of dialogue that took place and the kind of things that they were interested in getting support. It reflected our commitment to work together with our players on issues of social justice", Goodell stated. "That's where our hope is, and we hope over time, few players will kneel".

The commissioner said he was addressing important issues for America.

"The fact is we have about a half dozen players that are protesting".

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