Commissioner Goodell Says NFL Is Not Changing Its National Anthem Policy

Gov. Scott Walker said Monday national anthem protests should take a backseat to domestic abuse issues in the NFL. File

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

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.

Earlier, Goodell said owners at the meeting "did not ask" players to stand during the anthem, instead focusing on ways they could make communities better.

On Tuesday, in an unprecedented move for a league meeting, a group of 11 owners and more than a dozen players met for more than two hours at NFL headquarters.

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

"I think we all agree there's nothing more important than trying to give back into our communities and make our communities better. that was the entire focus today", Goodell said. Trump said in his Wednesday tweet, which was part of a barrage on a range of issues, including tax cuts and the FBI's investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said any player who "disrespects the flag" will not play. Others might feel the same way but haven't been vocal about it. "Their commitment to addressing these issues is really admirable and something our owners look at by saying 'we want to support you, '" Goodell said. Those are issues that affect us as well. "They 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, but they also understand how it's being interpreted, and we're dealing with those underlying issues".

"What we're trying to do is stay out of politics", Goodell said. So those conversations will continue.

Lurie has said his players have "great respect" for the Anthem and "all it represents".

When pressed on the issues, Goodell talked about taking action. What would be the point of meeting with the players if the owners were just going to drown them out with their powerful voices?

Goodell on Wednesday said the players effectively communicated their reasons for protesting.

He recognizes that the most hard task is persuading people that there's a message behind the demonstrations, that there's no lack of patriotism, no disrespect for the anthem. "That's the important aspect for us in the long term". "I wish I could in some way get through to those people. Total disrespect for our great country!"

"And that's ultimately, the only way they're ever going to see my point of view". "It reflected our commitment to work together with our players on the issues of social justice".

"Very little of the meeting was about the actual anthem", Mr. Jenkins told the Associated Press.

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