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NFL Wants Players to Stand for Anthem But Won’t Make It a Rule

NFL Wants Players to Stand for Anthem But Won’t Make It a Rule

“I understand where our fans feel about this issue — and we feel the same way.”

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced today that he personally believes that players should stand for the national anthem, but the league will not make it a rule requiring it. From

“I think our clubs all see this the same way — we want our players to stand, we’re going to encourage them to stand and we’re going to continue to work on these issues in the community,” Goodell told reporters after meeting with team owners at the Fall League Meeting in New York. “We’ll address issues — I can’t deal with hypotheticals right now, we’ll deal with those issues if they come up — but for right now, that’s our focus.”

Said Goodell: “The fact is that we have about half a dozen players that are protesting. We hope and continue to work to try to put that at zero — that’s what we’d like to do.”

We all know by now that the NFL has been entangled in an anthem fiasco ever since former quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during a preseason game in August 2016 to protest racial injustice in the country. It took off and other players joined him.

Then President Donald Trump decided to wade into the discussion, which has enflamed the whole situation. Viewership has gone down (my parents refuse to watch a game) while stadiums aren’t always full. It has even leaked over to other sports with the Golden State Warriors refusing to visit the White House to celebrate their NBA championship to people bashing the Pittsburgh Penguins for attending the White House to celebrate their Stanley Cup victory.

Goodell sent the owners a memo last week. From Fox News:

“The current dispute over the national anthem is threatening to erode the unifying power of our game, and is now dividing us, and our players, from many fans across the country,” he wrote last week. “Like many of our fans, 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.”

He’s been meeting with NFL owners this week in New York City for fall meetings. From

On Tuesday, a collection of 13 players, union leaders, 11 team owners and NFL executives met to discuss social issues and plans “to promote equality and effectuate positive change.” He said discussions about the national anthem played a big role in this week’s meetings.

He explained during the press conference what took place in that meeting:

“One other issue we spent a great deal of time talking about this morning was how much we believe [that] everyone should stand for the national anthem,” Goodell said. “It’s also an important part of our game, that we all take great pride in. And it’s also for us to honor our flag and our country, and we think our fans expect us to do that. And so that was something we continued to focus on this morning. But really talking a lot about with the opportunity that exists with our players to try to go and really make a difference in our communities in a positive way.”

“They’re very clear about it. And they’re actually incredibly knowledgeable, articulate and they spent the time going into the communities to talk about that,” Goodell said. “… They’re talking about criminal justice reform, whether it’s bail reform. Whether it’s talking about mandatory sentencing. They’re talking about changes that, I think, will make our communities better — that there’s bipartisan support for and that need focus. They’re talking about what we can do to support them to effectuate that legislative change, and that’s, again, very, very positive. They’re talking about equality issues, making sure we’re doing everything we possibly can to give people an opportunity, whether it’s an education or economic and what we can do to try to effectuate that. And we believe, with the players, that we can help them, we can support them. And those are our issues, national issues, American issues that are all important.”

Goodell also acknowledged that the feelings of the fanbase remain important to the players and league:

“I understand where our fans feel about this issue — and we feel the same way. About the importance of our flag, about the importance of patriotism,” Goodell said. “And I believe our players feel that same way. 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.”

It’ll be interesting to see what the players do this weekend. I still watch football even though my Chicago Bears suck. Honestly, it’s becoming unwatchable, not only because they suck, but also because of all the penalties.

But remember that the NFL is a private business and therefore the 1st Amendment doesn’t apply to them. If the NFL eventually wants to implement a rule that forces players to stand for the anthem then so be it. The union will probably raise hell, but they can do that. Individual teams can make rules, too, and who knows? Maybe it will end up in future contracts.


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Good, Roger.

Have a nice league.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to | October 18, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    RIP NFL: August 20th 1920 – October 18th 2017

    “When a business entity forms the largest and most important decision they make is who will lead the organization. That decision, beyond all other decisions, has the potential to destroy the business and long-term brand image of the entity.

    The National Football League has destroyed itself. In a free-market system customers have the ability to turn away from any product or service against their interests.”

      Black Lives Matter: A COINTELPRO Black Op Set Up to Destabilize …
      “… often seen as divisive and even protective of real black criminals who are truly guilty of crimes against the people. This indisputable reality has rightly created a major perception problem. Many outside of the movement have questioned the true impetus behind BLM, as well as the actual source of their funding. There are very good reasons to question these, as well as the integrity of the emerging leadership.”
      These shills of the NWO globalist elites would be laughed out of the room except they evidently have also their massive armies of leftist progressive useful idiots.

        mrGAB444 in reply to mrGAB444. | October 19, 2017 at 7:45 am

        “The narrative of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) organization relies on the repeated retelling of lies by the Obama Administration and the Government Controlled Main Stream Media (MSM). CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, MSNBC and even FoxNews are guilty of reporting known false stories containing perverted “facts” to incite violence.”

        NavyJack – When the Obama Administration and the Government …
        Jul 11, 2016  … It does show the depth of the lies the MSM is willing to promote in order to generate further racial unrest.
        … and then march in the ‘useful idiots’.

          JusticeDelivered in reply to mrGAB444. | October 19, 2017 at 9:30 am

          Most of the cases blacks present as injustices are based on lots of lies. That being the case, Black lies Matter and Blacks Liars Matter.

          Most media outlets promote those lies in their narrative, and they actively manage comments on their sites, removing comments and often banning commenters who refute those lies.

    It’s even worse than that.

    The NFL is a UNION. And now the NFL as an organization has made its position on kneeling clear – namely, that its acceptable.

    Meaning any individual owner that tries to punish a player for kneeling will immediately be sued by the union.

    Kaeperdick already led the charge on this – he filed a grievance just a few days ago claiming that the owners colluded to not hire him.

      mrtoad21 in reply to Olinser. | October 19, 2017 at 5:41 am

      Pittsburgh Coaches & Management made it not only acceptable but mandatory and publicly punished/ridiculed/shamed a player (and US Military Veteran) for not towing the Pittsburgh Steeler company line. The fans didn’t like that too much.

      mrGAB444 in reply to Olinser. | October 19, 2017 at 7:41 am

      (Black woman speaks)
      CULTURE NOT RACE – Why Black Lives Matter Is A Step Back for Equality

      mrGAB444 in reply to Olinser. | October 19, 2017 at 7:43 am

      Black’s continuously compelled to create their own hell, 
      continuously self segregating and destroying everything around themselves while blaming ‘whitey’ (who continuously try to lift them).

      The Truth About ‘Black Lives Matter’

      Some very interesting stats, worldwide:
      Black Lives Matter: The Rise of the “DINDU”
      “There is not a single successful black nation anywhere on earth.” -Foreign Policy

      Go to minute 1:00, watch for 10 SECONDS, what’s that say about BLM supporters?

      mrGAB444 in reply to Olinser. | October 19, 2017 at 7:46 am

      Now trying to turn it into something else, TOO LATE!
      They disrespect our military and every casualty in the line of duty
      They disrespect our police and every casualty in the line of duty
      They disrespect our flag and all patriotic Americans

      And Kaepernick’s police pig socks and the rest of the useful idiots now own their ignorance and they don’t even know they’re just useful idiots marching to Soros and the left progressive Marxist’s plan.

This isn’t the Olympics: this is the free market.

There’s no free ride for America-haters from America-lovers here.

Goodell understands how I “feel” about this issue? He apparently does not understand what I THINK about this issue.

I have already said my “Goodbye” to the NFL and the NFL is telling me:
1) They do not care what I think or feel.
2) I made the right decision.

No matter how this turns out for the protesters, they win. They beat the NFL.

Look at what’s happening here: NFL owners who are so panicky over ratings and empty stadiums are sitting there for four hours in the middle of the season, allowing players and their representatives to decide how to spend their money.

Or, I’m sorry, your money.

Yes, surely at some point in the future NFL players will be required to stand for the anthem, and Amen to that. But let me ask you this question: is forcing the players to stand for the anthem worth it?

If in exchange, the NFL becomes a piggy bank for every left-wing activist group in America?

Because make no mistake about it, that’s exactly what’s happening here.

But what does Commissioner Jane Skinner “anonymous tweeter” Goodell say?

NBA can fill their seats with enough minorities and liberal non-minorities to make it in large cities, but this can not happen for Football… those attending the games will see the protests and those those that watch at home will know of the protests. Meritocracy is being replaced with affirmative action … players retained for fear of racist accusations. Might as well not keep score and everyone plays in the Super Bowl.

    Rick the Curmudgeon in reply to alaskabob. | October 19, 2017 at 12:54 am

    I just realized my life is not greatly impacted by who does or does not win the Super Bowl.

      I have been going to the grocery store during the Super Bowl for years. I wait a few minutes after kickoff, and I have the store to myself–and even get a bagboy to walk me to my car.

      buckeyeminuteman in reply to Rick the Curmudgeon. | October 19, 2017 at 12:50 pm

      I have never really cared for professional sports. I didn’t grow up watching my dad wasting time on the couch and the only time I do it is college football. The Super Bowl however is nothing but money-grabbing hubris. And the half-time show has turned into a 20-minute in your face gay pride parade. There’s usually a lot better things to be doing on Sundays anyway, especially during the Super Bowl.

I didn’t even look up the scores for this weekend, let alone watch. Nope. Done caring.

Sadly I expect that the last thing they will do in “the communities” is promote the single most significant factor in a child’s well-being and life-long success – having a dad who is married to his mom and committed to being a husband and father. Remember that NFL running back a few years ago who had a son who tragically died from abuse? Turns out he had never met him until he was in a coma.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to jlronning. | October 19, 2017 at 9:18 am

    Poor, almost nonexistent parenting, a horrible culture, and low IQ (Average 85) are all factors in black failure to achieve. The problem is that a large percentage do not want to achieve, they just want handouts. Culturally, they believe that they are entitled to a free ride, entitled to break the law, and believe that those who earn their should support those who do not.

So Goodell claims they don’t want to be involved in politics, and demonstrates this by allowing its players to continue making political protests while on the clock for the NFL.

Subtitles for Goodell:

“We continue to support these political protests, but DAMN we’re losing a lot of money so I’m going to lie about it”.

    JOHN B in reply to Olinser. | October 19, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    Goodell and the media types all start from a false position: that the players are on the right side in their protests and actually know what they are protesting.

    Supporting Black Lives Matter and the killers of young black children in the cities is not right. It is sick.

    Call them out for supporting evil, not people who care for social justice.

The owners are NOT being held hostage by the players. These owners would lock the players out for an extra quarter. They have in the past. They are doing this to protect their own phony-baloney social status among their limousine liberal friends. And, they are hiding behind the player’s association to do it.

If the owners fired every player who did not stand for the anthem and then fired every player who refused to play to certain standards, the fans wouldn’t mind a bit. They would watch any two teams who were relatively evenly matched. How many teams have played seasons which ended in good records without any big name stars? Almost all of them, at one time or another. Most NFL fans understand that football is a team sport. They know that if Tom Brady does not have any decent receivers, or a decent O line or a good defense, it doesn’t matter if he plays or not. because they TEAM is going to lose. What the football industry has to understand is that it is a team as well. A team composed of the industry and the customer base, the fans. Until they join the rest of the team, the NFL clubs are going to continue to bleed red ink.

They’re talking about criminal justice reform, whether it’s bail reform. Whether it’s talking about mandatory sentencing. They’re talking about changes that, I think, will make our communities better …

Uh huh, America’s going to get hot tips on social policy from a bunch of guys who smash their heads into things for a living.

Well, thanks for stopping by, the usher will show you out. Next contestant, please …

And they have the audacity to call themselves the National Football League…
What a slap in the face.

The time for leadership and bold action is past. The NFL and Roger Goodell failed the test by not realizing the test was the “take a knee” movement, and not Trump’s pronouncement, nor the current fan backlash. The league reacted to the wrong provocation.

I wonder if the NFLAACP player who has fathered 10 children by ten different mothers is protesting social injustice? Maybe keeping his fly up might do more than kneeling! As Buddy Hooley said in song “Its so easy, so doggone easy” to never watch an NFL game again!

If I were an owner of a NFL franchise the last thing I would be doing is planning to build one of those new mega stadiums like several teams around the league have just did. Instead, I would be asking my investment bank for a timeline and plan to sell the team and liquidate my holdings. Some wealthy SJW activist might just jump at the opportunity to own their very own protest stage 16 Sundays a year.

“I understand where our fans feel about this issue — and we feel the same way.” Yeah, right. See you in the funny papers…

casualobserver | October 19, 2017 at 12:02 am

There hasn’t been a worse sports executive in my lifetime. Worst part is he makes absurd statements about the politics of this situation that I doubt either side of the issue believes. But perhaps it will look great on the record a generation in the future.

What will the league look like by that time?

The marketplace will provid the correction. Think about all that money and time now freed up.

It’s a great time for the creative.

Meantime, Let al sharpton and obama fill the superbowl seats. Come to think of it, fashion icon michelle obama could fill several herself.

The writing on the wall was in 2009, when the NFL wouldn’t let Rush Limbaugh buy a football team – St Louis Cardinals I believe. They made it clear that they cared about liberal criticism, which helped open the door for these protests.

Goodell is nothing but a slimy snake. If they want players to stand during the national anthem then make it a rule for the league. Talk is cheap! The NFL stinks from the head down.

Done, done, done with the disrespecting NFL!

It’s a shame that every live report showed him to be highlighting “should” rather than “everyone”. “Should” in the legal definition; as in NO legal requirement as if they had said “must”.

Now the league has had several opportunities to undo the mess they’re in with the fans. Instead of getting a handle on this, they punted and missed the goalposts by a mile. Enjoy the Dust Bowl in Feb.

G. de La Hoya | October 19, 2017 at 9:15 am

Note to Roger Goodell:

You and only you have damaged the brand name of the NFL by allowing the employees to dictate politics onto the field of play. I’m sure your golden parachute is inspected and packed. Hands up, don’t shoot, Roger 🙂

It was my understanding that the rule saying they must stand for the flag/anthem is already in the NFL books. Am I wrong?

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Exiliado. | October 19, 2017 at 11:36 am

    Yes it is.

    jpwcpa in reply to Exiliado. | October 19, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    The actual rule book does not discuss the national anthem, but there is a book referred to as the game operation manual that provides details about the procedures for teams and players to follow. It says,

    “The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem. During the playing of the National Anthem, players on the field should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. Players in the bench areas should do the same, and should line themselves up evenly along the sidelines. The home team should insure that the American Flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.”

Also, dear author Mary Chastain,
May I politely suggest/request that you change the channel?
Your “Chicago Bears suck” anyways.

and to the Republic for which it stands

In recognition of millions of men and wome who sacrificed and died to end redistributive change, involuntary exploitation, and [color] diversity, in Order to form a more perfect Union for the People and our Posterity.

The NFL didn’t need a rule concerning the anthem. They could have easily used the existing rules and stopped this from the start. It would have been simple and with an effective statement from the league squashed all dissent. The following statement would have covered everything they needed: The NFL doesn’t allow political statements on the field of play.

“NFL Wants Players to Stand for Anthem But Won’t Make It a Rule” But didn’t this whole thing get started because they already have a rule and they chose not to enforce it?

I blame the refs for not throwing a penalty flag at Koepernick, sending him to the showers, and imposing a 15 yard penalty on the kickoff!

    gmac124 in reply to CaptTee. | October 19, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    The refs have control of the playing field from the kickoff til the final second ticks off the clock, they do not control the field before or after the game and shouldn’t. Really this is all on Goodell and the league owners they both had the ability to end this and fumbled.

G. de La Hoya | October 19, 2017 at 9:09 pm

I’m getting the feeling that the NFL will be looking for a Federal bailout soon. Too big to fail, don’t ya know 😉

Does anyone else remember that during the 1982 NFL labor disputes, several teams stated they would shake hands with their opposing team before the coin toss? The NFL, under Pete Rozelle, came out against that and said all players taking part in such a show of unity would be fined $100.

It’s interesting how the NFL has changed since.