Commissioner is “facilitating conversation” between teams and players

AP

As the leader of the free world continues to twist the tail of the NFL, what’s the leader of the football world doing? He’s not doing what he usually does, and that’s probably a good thing.

Commissioner Roger Goodell has ruled the NFL for more than 11 years via convoluted policies, inflexible mandates, and outcome-driven investigations. Rarely (but for the relaxation of the celebration rules) has consensus been a factor in his leadership style. As the league deals with a hot potato coated in plutonium and dusted with smallpox, the Commissioner is treading lightly, for a change.

“The Commissioner plays a leadership role in facilitating conversation between players and owners and coaches,” NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart told reporters during a Thursday media briefing. “He’s been on the line constantly, consistently talking to the various parties. . . . They are all pulling in the same direction but we understand that each locker room is different and there is no one uniform approach that can be dictated by Park Avenue.”

That’s the right approach. Every team will handle the issue differently, and in every locker room it’s critical that the players buy in. They won’t buy in if they feel like they’re being told what to do by Goodell or anyone else; they need to be part of the formulation of the solution, and the solution needs to be something that allows valid concerns to receive the attention they deserve without any impact on or involvement with the national anthem.

The challenge continues to be reaching not one solution but 32, because this issue will go away only if every team comes up with a plan that results in all players standing during the anthem — and that also provides a platform for bringing awareness to the issues that sparked the protests in the first place.

47 responses to “Commissioner is “facilitating conversation” between teams and players

  1. When you protest divisiveness in a way that is creating more divisiveness, you have NOT become a part of the solution, You have created greater division…
    Then your protest HAS FAILED!

  2. Ol Jerry Jones just invented the pre anthem variety show. Watch there be 3-5 minute window before anthem from now on where players get to do whatever they want on camera before holding hands during The Flag song.

  3. There’s really only two solutions, and either one of them would be easy to implement.

    1. Sing the National Anthem before the players come out of the locker room.

    2. Draft a rule that says that every player has to be out there on the field, standing at attention, when the National Anthem is sung. If a player wants to protest, he gets fined.

  4. I don’t see a reason to watch any more, even if they all come singing “yankee doodle dandy”, I just lost interest in wasting 3 hours on a beautiful sunday afternoon watching TV.

  5. I can hear Roger now… Fix the mess or I’m going to suspend all of you for 6 games because I’ll get someone to tell TMZ you beat them.

  6. The solution seems to be simple. Everyone stand for the National Anthem and allow the customers of the NFL to enjoy the entertainment that they are paying for and want. Then everyone (players, fans, owners etc) can use their own time to support the causes that they care about in whichever way they wish.

  7. Interesting. So I guess the fans (customers) have no say.

    A successful business model does not put whatever the business wants on the shelf. It puts what the customers want on the shelf.

    The customers clearly want to see no disrespectful displays performed during the National Anthem and for politics to be kept on the outside of their football experience, as evidenced by the boos heard all over every stadium, the backlash it has received in social media, and the canceled football packages.

    But by all means, you do you, NFL.

  8. This is whole thing is getting a bit much. Its obviously time to start some “dialogue” and try “trading ideas” and then look to “work with one another” in order to create “unity”. Please someone, build a time machine and take me back to the 70’s, or at least the 80’s.

  9. Strange -none of my employers have ever expressed any interest in affording me a platform for any of my personal values or positions.

  10. Well, he already admitted he’s not a football expert so maybe he’ll find his calling in social mcjustice.

  11. Here’s what will happen, Goodell will cave in and institute an NBA like rule saying all players will stand for the anthem, and he will give the players resources to convey their thoughts and other platforms to protest on.
    Next, the players will organize a walk out, but only until they start to need money.
    During this walk out, fans will find numerous things to do in the NFL’s absence.
    It will be years before the fandom is what it was 2 seasons ago.
    The NFL needs America, America does not need the NFL.

  12. of course a real leader would’ve nipped this in the bud immediately before it got to the ridiculousness that it is

  13. If they really want to protest and make it meaningful here are some options that would not offend anyone:

    1. Refuse to play until whatever you are mad at gets addressed. Donate missed game checks to cause.
    2. Quit your job and go work in those communities to try to fix the problem
    3. Go on a hunger strike, or drug strike or steroid strike
    4. Protest all of the rap and violent music industry that encourage and glorifies
    the behavior that leads to violent police interactions
    5. Go and actually talk to police and see if there is another side to the story

  14. Take charge Roger.
    Fine every player that violated NFL anthem rules.
    Double fine all Ravens & Jaguar players who disrespected America on foreign soil and take away draft picks from each of these franchises for their disgraceful actions designed to embarrass America
    And then Roger….. resign.
    Your failed leadership enabled this display of petulance

  15. tyelee says:
    September 28, 2017 at 2:44 pm
    When you protest divisiveness in a way that is creating more divisiveness, you have NOT become a part of the solution, You have created greater division…
    Then your protest HAS FAILED!

    You realized the divisiveness is coming from the POTUS right??? Players protested last week against his words. The original protests were for equality, not to divide. The division came from the idiots that get sucked into the vacuum of false outrage. I bet none of these people get their fat behinds up off the coach when the anthem is played.

  16. pauldeba says:
    September 28, 2017 at 2:46 pm
    I don’t see a reason to watch any more, even if they all come singing “yankee doodle dandy”, I just lost interest in wasting 3 hours on a beautiful sunday afternoon watching TV.

    —————

    But you are happy to waste your time posting on NFL blogs. You are still watching. Give me a break.

    The people that are actually boycotting the NFL aren’t posting comments on a football blog while they are looking for articles about their favorite team.

  17. “..because this issue will go away only if every team comes up with a plan that results in all players standing during the anthem — and that also provides a platform for bringing awareness to the issues that sparked the protests in the first place.”

    Yep. For most people, it’s not been about the issues raised, but the platform chosen to try and raise awareness.

  18. What’s there to talk about? If you want to protest, talking to the bosses will achieve nothing, since no owners are happy to let you protest.

  19. This isn’t hard. Ask players and owners alike to follow Title 36, Section 301 of the U.S. Code. Basically, stand, right hand over your heart. The teams can release a statement urging all to be active in their communities for causes important to each of them, but on Sundays, a work day in the NFL, it’s a time to celebrate family and God and sport. Our national anthem is one of the things that are good about our country. It is not political to stand, hand over heart. It is only political when one protests what the law says “should” be done during the anthem.

  20. Liberalsruineverything says:
    September 28, 2017 at 3:00 pm
    The damage is done. Us fans are just getting started.

    —————–

    Nonsense. There will be no impact. People will still watch.

  21. Does the NFL know it’s fan base? I heard today ticket sales are down 18% for the week. I know mine are up for sale for the minimal price allowed by NFL Ticket Exchange. Interesting is I don’t see NFL teams addressing fans, and I see players like Mike Evans saying the fans will still come. Not so sure.

  22. should only need to say one thing, your protests are driving away the PAYING customers. keep it up and you will be out of work

  23. As I posted elsewhere, every time people start a sentence with “No offense, but…” it means right away that:

    1. What follows is very likely offensive (otherwise why start with a disclaimer).
    2. They’re well aware of the offensive nature (since they feel the need to apologize).
    3. They don’t care a lot about the others (otherwise they simply wouldn’t say it).
    4. They feel superior to the others (my ideas are too important to be hushed for them).
    5. Just because they say “No offense” it doesn’t mean others won’t or shouldn’t be offended.

    Aren’t these protesters basically saying “We mean no offense to the flag, the nation, the army, the fans, etc. BUT…”?

    This entire movement started with a confused and misguided dunce who muddled a good message. It should have been stopped there but the League that controls every minute detail loved the spotlight and free advertisement and now it’s backfiring on them because there is no easy way out of this mess. Does the NFL put a stop to the protest and acknowledge it was wrong or do they allow it and risk further alienation with the fans? What’s more important: the players’ activist rights or the owners’ $$$?

  24. The people on here that continue to act like kneeling during the anthem is an affront to our military need to just admit your racist leanings….that said, unless were all under the impression Rosa Parks was protesting buses, that lunch counter sit-ins had to do with protesting restaurants and that Ghandi’s hunger strikes were because he hated food and wanted to disrespect it, let’s all – as intelligent, educated, reasonable individuals – accept that this protest is not about veterans, the flag, or the country. The sooner we all focus on considering the why of the protest over the how, the sooner we can get past it.

  25. “But you are happy to waste your time posting on NFL blogs. You are still watching. Give me a break.”

    So, people who post non-stop about Donald Trump really support him, too?

    No, I’m not watching, actually I cancelled Sunday Ticket after Brady was suspended, haven’t watched anything but the Patriots since and will stop watching all together now. The curtain has been pulled back on these guys, they are not good people, they don’t have integrity and they want to tell the rest of us what to think. I’m embarrassed for them. They’re like that girl you went out with in high school and then broke up with her and said “yuck, how did I go out with her”

  26. Goodell sure did change his tune very quickly! Wonder why?? Surely, the almighty dollar is not involved in this change…..President Donald Trump and the majority of fans…one .NFL…zero

  27. I wonder how many sponsors will bail the NFL…. lost 2 today….also wait til the kneel-in comes to your neighborhood NBA arena!

  28. Love the sport and would like to see everyone just get back to football, but I haven’t watched a game since opening night and it’s really not a big deal. They have overestimated their worth in the grand scheme of things.

  29. Tebow “suppressed” himself. Tebow wasn’t standing up for the oppressed. To suggest Tebow was oppressed is laughable.

    Goodell should take the stance to give the gov’t a refund and keep all players in the locker room during the anthem. Before 2009 that was the NFL policy. It’s not worth the headache for the few million the gov’t pays to use the flag, aka patriotism, to gain enlistments of youth. Back in my day we didn’t enlist for Vietnam, we were drafted. No flag outrage back then.

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