As the NFL continues to figure out the best way to turn peaceful yet powerful protests against police brutality and racism in this country into a way to promote the NFL brand, commissioner Roger Goodell gave a brief update after today’s meetings between the league and players. He was asked about the league pressing players to stand for the national anthem, and backed away from the idea.
The question makes sense, given the past few weeks have been filled with the NFL’s owners and leadership trying to find any obscure rule they could to make players stand. One report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter even said they would consider a rule change to make standing mandatory. Goodell’s answer today, per the league-provided transcript:
On whether or not the league got commitment from players to stand for the anthem:
Goodell: We did not ask for that. We spent today talking about the issues that players have been trying to bring attention to – issues to make our communities better. I think we all agree there’s nothing more important than trying to give back to our communities and make them better. That was the entire focus of today.
Goodell then got away as quickly as he could, although he did not appear to know which way to go.