Roger Goodell stressed the work that's been done and the impact that's been made in communities rather than the actual policy updates.

By Charlotte Carroll
October 17, 2018

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell addressed the progress on the NFL's national anthem policy on Wednesday at the league's annual fall meeting.

"The focus of both the Players Association and the NFL and all of our clubs and our players has been the focus on the efforts that our players have continually brought as their issues in their communities and how can we make our communities better," Goodell said. "They have been incredibly passionate about that. They have brought these issues greater awareness, and they are working in their communities to try to make their communities better. ... I think that's where our focus is right now, as it should be."

Goodell stressed the work that's been done and the impact that's been made.

NFL owners voted on a new national anthem policy in May. The new policy removes a requirement for players to be on the field for the anthem and gives players the option to stay in the locker room. Teams will be fined for any personnel that "do not show proper respect for the flag and Anthem” on the sidelines.

But this was put on pause before the start of this season and no policy has been implemented. Some players have continued their protests against police brutality and racial inequality. Former 49ers safety Eric Reid joined the Panthers and when he took the field in Week 5, he continued protesting.

The protests during the national anthem started in August 2016 when former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the 'Star-Spangled Banner' as a means of protesting racial inequality and police brutality. Dozens other NFL players, as well as numerous other athletes across America, ultimately joined him. The protests grew during the 2017 season after Trump criticized NFL players who chose to follow suit. Trump said owners should "fire" NFL players who protest the anthem and referred to them as "son[s] of b------". Players responded by protesting en masse.

Kaepernick hasn't played since the 2016 season, while Eric Reid played for the first time this season in Week 5 after being signed by Carolina.

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