Following months of NFL players sitting or kneeling during the pre-game playing of the National Anthem, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced he wants his organization and players “to honor our flag and our country.”
Per the Atlantic:
On Tuesday, the NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to the executives and presidents of all 32 teams. Its contents concerned the most prominent topic of discussion surrounding the league recently. “Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem,” he wrote. “It is an important moment in our game. We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us.”
As we previously reported, Goodell said the organization’s disunity is affecting its image:
Goodell acknowledged in the letter that the protests are “threatening to erode the unifying power of our game.”
Check it out:
“We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us. We also care deeply about our players and respect their opinions and concerns about critical social issues. The controversy over the Anthem is a barrier to having honest conversations and making real progress on the underlying issues. We need to move past this controversy, and we want to do that together with our players,” the letter reads.
According to the Daily Caller, Tennessee Titans receiver Rishard Matthews says he will quit if players are going to be penalized:
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) October 12, 2017
— Paul Kuharsky (@PaulKuharskyNFL) October 12, 2017
The NFL has since disputed the contents of the memo, saying there has been no change to the current anthem policy:
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday that “there has been no policy change” regarding players standing for the national anthem before games.
Speaking with NFL Network’s Nate Burleson in New York, Goodell addressed a claim made Wednesday morning by President Trump on Twitter that the NFL is “demanding” players stand for the anthem.
“What we’ve had is unprecedented dialogue over the last year with our players, our owners, with community leaders and law enforcement,” Goodell said. “What we plan to do is have a very in-depth discussion with the players and owners next week to make sure we truly understand the issues and also understand the approach we want to take together with the players to address these issues in our communities.”