Roger Goodell issues no discipline or mandate for National Football League anthem protesters

Roger Goodell issues no discipline or mandate for National Football League anthem protesters

The players "will state to you, and they have stated to everyone publicly, they are not doing this in any way to be disrespectful to the flag", Goodell said.

"It's an improtant thing for us is to do that and take the opportunity to make real differences in our community".

"We have about six or seven players that are involved in this protest at this point", Goodell told reporters after the meeting ended at a New York City hotel, saying he hoped that number would eventually be zero.

"The NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem".

The NFL is not changing its national anthem policy to require players to stand during the national anthem.

"Even if you don't agree with what the sort of messaging is of taking a knee, we need to get the messaging away from the detractors that want to sidetrack the issues of social and racial inequality".

"Everyone feels strongly about our country and have pride", he said, adding the National Football League is "not afraid of tough conversations".

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In an earlier joint statement with the players' union, the NFLPA, the league said it had been agreed that promoting equality was among "common issues", and pledged to meet again "to continue this work together".

Reports are that the national anthem protests did not dominate the conversation, and owners did not express a desire for the protests to end. The number of players refusing to stand has fallen off dramatically since peaking shortly after President Trump suggested at a September 22 speech that owners should fire any "son of a bitch" who refuses to stand.

It's good to know owners and players can come together to discuss social topics in a meeting room.

Since the reignited controversy, Goodell and owners have met with players, as they did yesterday, in a continued attempt to address the players' concerns. "And those are our issues, national issues, American issues that are all important". Not only will Colin Kaepernick be able to draw on their apparent refusal to allow players on their rosters to protest, it will also support his argument that this is the reason he does not yet have a job.

More players have begun kneeling since Trump criticized the practice, and some sympathetic teammates have linked arms with the kneelers while standing themselves. "The dialogue will continue", Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins told the AP.

Goodell is expected to speak to the media when the meeting concludes on Wednesday afternoon.