SportsPulse: Trysta Krick checks in with NFL insider Lorenzo Reyes at the NFL owners meeting to discuss the progress players and owners are making for social justice reform.
USA Press Today Sports
NEW YORK – After a series of meetings devoted to social injustice protests that have swept the league, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell doubled down on his stance regarding players’ protests during the pregame playing of the national anthem.
The league wants players to stand for the anthem, but it won’t be forcing them with any rule change.
“We just had two days of conversation of which this was a fair amount of dialogue and I think we all see this the same way,” Goodell said Wednesday at the conclusion of the league’s fall meetings. “We want our players to stand. Our focus is on the opportunity we have to make our communities better through these efforts with our players. We’ll deal with these issues as they come up.”
New York Giants co-owner John Mara said that no policy change was voted on regarding the anthem.
On Tuesday, the NFL hosted a meeting featuring league executives, NFL Players Association representatives, players and franchise owners in which all sides had a platform to express their viewpoints regarding the social issues affecting communities, as well as the measures players are taking to raise awareness.
Goodell later said that he wants the league “to stay out of politics” and that the league’s goal was to reduce was “to put that down to zero” in terms of the number of protesters.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said last week that he would bench a player who was seen “being disrespectful to the flag.”
When asked if teams left the meeting with the understanding that players wouldn’t be disciplined for any protest, Goodell deflected.
“We didn’t discuss that,” he said. “It wasn’t necessary. We had a discussion that all teams understood the dialogue that we have had with our players. I would tell you this, it’s unprecedented dialogue, and that is a really positive change for us.”
Follow Lorenzo Reyes on Twitter @LorenzoGReyes.
PHOTOS: NFL players’ protests