NFL players' union set to join owners meeting to talk national anthem protests
The NFL and representatives from theNFL Players Association are set to meet next week during the owner meetings to discuss the national anthem protests of the players.
"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," the statement said. "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."
Goodell sent a memo to each of the 32 teams this week saying that the owners will discuss the anthem at the meetings. Goodell also dismissed a tweet by President Donald Trump which Trump claimed the commissioner was "finally demanding that all players stand."
Trump said in an interview with Fox News that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick should have been suspended last season after kneeling for the anthem in protest of racial oppression and inequality.
"What we've had is unprecedented dialogue over the last year with our players, our owners, with community leaders and law enforcement," Goodell told NFL Network. "What we plan to do is have a very in-depth discussion with the players and owners next week to make sure we truly understand the issues and also understand the approach we want to take together with the players to address these issues in our communities.
"The real dialogue and the real issues have been overtaken by the controversy," Goodell added. "What we want to do is get back to focusing on the actions that we want to take to really improve our communities and support our players to get things done."