The NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wrote Tuesday in a letter to all 32 teams that he wants players to move past the protests. It’s crushing the NFL’s bottom line.
Goodell made it clear in the letter, obtained by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, that he wants players to stand during the anthem. He did not provide specifics on how he intends to ensure it, but he wrote that it would “include such elements as an in-season platform to promote the work of our players on these core issues.”
The issue will be discussed, and likely acted upon, during the NFL’s regularly-scheduled fall meetings on Oct. 17-18.
President Donald Trump is suggesting the U.S. change its tax laws to punish organizations like the NFL if members are “disrespecting” the national anthem or flag.
In the letter, Goodell said he wanted to end the controversy by agreeing on a uniform approach for all teams.
“Like many of our fans,” Goodell wrote, “we believe that everyone should stand for the national anthem. It is an important moment in our game. 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 NFL’s current anthem policy states that players “should” stand for the anthem, but it stops short of requiring it.