NFL, NFLPA statement: 'No change in the current policy regarding the anthem'
Players won't be required to stand for the anthem
President Donald Trump is not getting his wish -- at least not yet. In a joint statement released on Wednesday, the NFL and NFL Players Association revealed that the league has not enacted a rule that would require players to stand for the national anthem.
Here is their statement:
"Commissioner Roger Goodell reached out to NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith today and both he and player leadership will attend the League meetings next week. There has been no change in the current policy regarding the anthem. The agenda will be a continuation of how to make progress on the important social issues that players have vocalized. Everyone who is part of our NFL community has a tremendous respect for our country, our flag, our anthem and our military, and we are coming together to deal with these issues in a civil and constructive way."
That statement came a day after NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart stated that the league's owners will likely discuss a rule change that would require players to stand for the national anthem. In recent weeks, Trump has pushed for the league to enact a new rule to prevent players from protesting during the national anthem. Players on several teams have been sitting/kneeling during the anthem to protest racial injustice -- a movement that began with then-49ers quarterback and current free agent Colin Kaepernick last season -- though the protest has shifted in recent weeks to a show of unity after Trump's inflammatory comments.
"Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now," Trump said. "Out. He's fired. He's fired."
"You know, some owner is going to do that, he's going to say, 'That guy that disrespects our flag, he's fired,'" Trump also said. "And that owner, they don't know it -- they're friends of mine, many of them -- they don't know it, they'll be the most popular person for a week, they'll be the most popular person in this country, because that's a total disrespect of our heritage, that's a total disrespect of everything that we stand for."
In response to Trump's comments, most teams demonstrated during the anthem in a show of unity. And many protests against racial injustice have continued. In response to the continued protests, some team owners have supported the players' right to protest while Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has said that any player on his team who doesn't stand for the national anthem will not be allowed to play.
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