NFL won’t answer “hypotheticals” about teams disciplining players for kneeling

AP

In a press conference following the end of owners meetings in New York on Wednesday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell reiterated the league’s position that they want all players to stand during the national anthem but that they won’t be making any rules changes to mandate it.

Almost all of the questions Goodell fielded during his time at the podium had to do with the anthem and this week’s meeting with players about addressing the issues behind their protests, including one about what the league will do if a team disciplines a player for not standing during the national anthem. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones suggested recently that a player who does “anything that is disrespectful to the flag” will not play for the team.

Goodell said that the issue did not come up for discussion when the owners were meeting and that he wouldn’t speculate on how the league would respond if a team did take individual action.

I can’t deal with hypotheticals right now. We’ll deal with these issues when they come up,” Goodell said. 

In comments shown on NFL Network, Giants co-owner John Mara said that it is not productive to force players to stand and that “almost every other owner” feels the same way. If any of those that don’t take action, Goodell and the league will have to move beyond hypotheticals.

57 responses to “NFL won’t answer “hypotheticals” about teams disciplining players for kneeling

  1. Ah. For once I agree with the NFL on this topic. if I was running a business and people were throwing hypotheticals at me I would refuse to speak to them too. Doesn’t matter what they are and who wants to know. Speaking to hypotheticals is a bad strategy period.

  2. What about Michael Bennett and the Seahawks burning the American flag in the locker room with the coach and players cheering him on?

  3. Do not kowtow to the Accidental President, Comrade Trump. The players have the means, the venue, and the exposure to protest for those that cannot. Their actions are not disrespectful……the confederate flag, however, is. This country was founded on protest and the freedom to do so. One demigod who lacks the support of the majority of people in this country cannot demand we think like him or act like him. I come from a family of military veterans, and I’m proud of this country. I love it. I’m a big believer in the pursuit of happiness, liberty, and justice, for all.

  4. Why is Roger always blindsided and caught unprepared for every thing that unfolds on his doorstep. Does this guy not have any notion of preemptive plans. How about preventing situation like this instead of reacting to them in a state of shock

  5. We’re falling behind China in the forced patriotism race. They all ready have a political compliance scoring system in place and here we are mucking around with this first amendment nonsense.

  6. What about Michael Bennett and the Seahawks burning the American flag in the locker room with the coach and players cheering him on?
    ——————————————————————————

    Really? If that’s true, they just became my new #1 team to root AGAINST..

  7. “What about Michael Bennett and the Seahawks burning the American flag in the locker room with the coach and players cheering him on?”

    Complete hoax… please at least try to pay attention. But yeah, he’s a tool….

  8. denverscott says:
    October 18, 2017 at 2:47 pm
    What about Michael Bennett and the Seahawks burning the American flag in the locker room with the coach and players cheering him on?
    ______________________

    Dude, seriously? You know how poorly photoshopped that photo was, right? Come on, try a little harder than to use some Facebook fake-news clickbait trash to make whatever point you’re trying to make.

  9. jcashman23 says:
    October 18, 2017 at 3:05 pm
    What about Michael Bennett and the Seahawks burning the American flag in the locker room with the coach and players cheering him on?
    ——————————————————————————

    Really? If that’s true, they just became my new #1 team to root AGAINST..

    —–

    No, this is actual #fakenews. There was no fire, no burning flag … The original picture (sans photoshopped flag) is from the Seahawk’s site in 2016.

  10. IMHIM says:
    October 17, 2017 at 6:11 pm
    This is great. I know I am going to get a bunch of thumbs down but I don’t really care. All of you that are attempting to say you’re boycotting the NFL are full of crap. You’re sitting here on your keyboard talking about it right now! You’re giving this attention b/c you’re addicted to the NFL. You’re not boycotting one bit. And why are ratings not taking a serious hit? B/c people like you that threaten to leave aren’t leaving! I support the players. The owners can’t do anything about this. And don’t for one second think the owners care about the anthem. This is all about not losing money. The owners have only asked the players to stand in the beginning to support one of their biggest sponsors, the Army. This has nothing to do with patriotism and everything to do with $$.

    —————
    Seriously? Did someone actually so that?

  11. The NFL has no one to complain to except themselves and honestly, I don’t feel sorry for them one bit. The NFL is entertainment supported by the media. The majority of the media are left leaning, so issues like Kaepernick and protests will always be at the forefront from the media’s perspective – even at the demise of their own networks and viewership. Anthem protests are killing the NFL and they don’t even do anything about it.

    I feel sorry for them about as much as I do a player on strike. You get what you sow and you’re endorsing your own demise.

    So be it.

  12. denverscott says:
    October 18, 2017 at 2:47 pm
    What about Michael Bennett and the Seahawks burning the American flag in the locker room with the coach and players cheering him on?

    ————
    Seriously? Did that actually happen?

  13. denverscott says:
    October 18, 2017 at 2:47 pm
    What about Michael Bennett and the Seahawks burning the American flag in the locker room with the coach and players cheering him on?

    ——————————

    Umm that was photoshopped, silly.

  14. Goodell is getting forced to walk a fine line and hes slowboasting until the players get tired of getting nowhere with these ridiculous, mistargeted , useless protests

    reality is that its unbelieveably disrespectful and the other 360 million of us would have been fired on the spot for giving our employers these headaches

    Im sick of the protests and the players attitude about it

  15. All revenue streams are down, but maybe the NFL can pay for a boot camp for digruntled fans too. What is that about,lol? Boycott, until it hurts all networks stocks down because nfl ratings are off. They just don’t get it on the NFL.

  16. “I can’t deal with hypotheticals right now. We’ll deal with these issues when they come up,”
    And thus we see how the “strategy” to address the CTE issue (as well as many others) was formed.

  17. “This is war everyone.”

    No its not war. Its people exercising constitutionally guaranteed rights. I will point out that its totalitarian countries like North Korea where you get punished if you don’t stand for the anthem or anything else that is considered “patriotic”.

    And turning the US into a totalitarian country like Trump is trying to do is, you know, 100% the opposite of what democracy is supposed to be.

  18. stellarperformance says:

    October 18, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    Do not kowtow to the Accidental President, Comrade Trump. The players have the means, the venue, and the exposure to protest for those that cannot. Their actions are not disrespectful……the confederate flag, however, is. This country was founded on protest and the freedom to do so. One demigod who lacks the support of the majority of people in this country cannot demand we think like him or act like him. I come from a family of military veterans, and I’m proud of this country. I love it. I’m a big believer in the pursuit of happiness, liberty, and justice, for all.
    _____________

    The players DO have the exposure, but NOT the venue. That is where you get it wrong. Because one works at McDonalds, McDonalds is not THEIR venue.. get it? They can spend all the time and take advantage of their popularity all they want, not on the job.

  19. stikman32000 says:

    October 18, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    If the anthem doesn’t stand for them, why should they stand for the anthem?
    ____________________

    If the players don’t stand for the Country, why should I kneel with the players?

  20. Like what Bugs Bunny always use to say, “Of course you know this means war!”. The NFL won’t be able to win this. Neither will the players.

  21. I won’t deal in hypotheticals either. The FACT is as of 3 weeks ago and in the future, I will not watch them.I would rather kick them in the _____.

  22. SO how many of you that are upset about kneeling during the anthem willing to actually sit, listen, believe and act to work towards changing what they are protesting against if they stop protesting during a song? How many of you are actually willing to admit that your own experiences differ from others, and that blatant racism is still a major issue for aspects of our society today simply because of how they look? How many of you are willing to admit that Police tactics need a major shift in their approach and minorities suffer disproportionately in their treatment, incarceration and perceptions?
    …or is ALL of this simply something you would rather not admit is a problem to be admitted, faced and worked on?

  23. Trump is winning, NFL is just trying to support their ignorant employees. Little do the employees understand, the customer is always right… Basic business and basic common sense.

  24. priestequalsaura says:
    October 18, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    …or is ALL of this simply something you would rather not admit is a problem to be admitted, faced and worked on?

    ——

    that is the common stand. until some owner fires a player for kneeling, they’ll never be satisfied. that’s really what it comes down to.

  25. el_guapo2020 says:
    October 18, 2017 at 3:56 pm
    Question for all the armchair patriots: do you get off the couch and stand when the anthem plays on TV before a game?

    —————
    As a matter of fact yes. And on military installeions everyone, even the civilians stop and stand for the daily raise and lower. Traffic pulls over. That stuff does happen, but those folks are giving to the country, not just living off the efforts of others while they complain.

  26. These are all good assumptions that because people are offended, this is directly correlating to the NFL’s revenue. Except, it’s not. The NFL is still the most profitable sport and is growing by $1 billion + each year. It’s grown EVERY year since 2001, but even moreso recently. That’s because the tv contracts are already done. Whether you watch or not is basically irrelevant. This season would be the fifth of the past seven in which NFL viewership declined on NBC and CBS, and the sixth of the past seven in which viewership declined on FOX and ESPN. The declines may be steeper the past two years, but this is a longer-term trend than people realize and has nothing to do (or very little measurably) with the protests, Trump, Kaepernick, Zeke being an abuser or any of the other B.S. that’s watering down the game. ESPN has lost viewership consistently, but STILL pays the ever growing rates that the NFL charges. This isn’t hitting anyone in the pocketbook.

  27. ““I can’t deal with hypotheticals right now. We’ll deal with these issues when they come up,” Goodell said. ”

    Because that has always worked so well in the past.

  28. I love the “You’re supposed to accept my protest no matter the message or manner I do it in” manta that is spouted by the players and their supporters.

    But funny, there is no quid pro quo for people who are against the protest, and have the same right to act in action they deem appropriate (legal only, of course) — stop watching, boycott, or even simply being critical.

  29. Not 1 of you critics here have earned the right to call yourselves patriots. Join the service if you’re so patriotic. Armchair patriot, whatever.

  30. The NFL is falling from grace.
    Fire Goodell
    Stop giving them anti trust protection.
    Stop allowing the games to be a forum for their political beliefs. Let each team allow/disallow this BS on the teams property

  31. denverscott says:
    October 18, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    What about Michael Bennett and the Seahawks burning the American flag in the locker room with the coach and players cheering him on?
    ——
    talk about “fake news.” Here’s your example of how America elected a liar in chief.

  32. To the person who mentioned the Target boycott not having an affect:

    Target Stock Mid-April 2016: about $80 / share

    Target Stock Today: about $60 / share

    But yeah, it’s probably not having any affect on them….

  33. With all this fake political crap and raa raa patriot stuff, plus all the new 12 min. commercial stoppages, you can take the NFL and shove it where the sun don’t shine.

  34. Question for all the armchair patriots: do you get off the couch and stand when the anthem plays on TV before a game?
    —————————————

    I am so sick and tired of this question like it’s any way to “catch” those who have problems with this in some sort of hypocrisy. No I don’t. I also don’t participate in the wave, check my program page for the winning number for a free hat, pay $12 for a hot dog, or wave at the TV trying to get a free shirt from the people shooting them out to the audience either. Why don’t I do these things? Simple. I’m not there! The players are there. The fans are there. When I’ve attended anything and they play the national anthem I stand or stop even if I’m on the concourse out of respect for the playing of the anthem. The whole premise of this question is ridiculous.

  35. Amendment I. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    this site is full of mouth breathers. You should be kicked out of the country if you do not know the constitution. Quit hiding behind your phone patriotism.

  36. “What about Michael Bennett and the Seahawks burning the American flag in the locker room with the coach and players cheering him on?”
    ___________________
    Did not happen, but it is “symbolically true” which in a culture war is good enough.

  37. Orange, the NFL is far from falling from grace. The only one falling from grace, if you honestly believe he has any, is Trump. No matter what his supporters say, the NFL and they players are doing what he should be doing, calling to light the very real social injustices in our Country. Trump is the one who is being un-Patriotic. He is acting like a Royal Dictator who is he’ll bent on destroying his country. Just like that little man from Austria who ruled over Germany. Everyday I see the parallels of their behavior as well of that of their blind supporters.

  38. “Why don’t I do these things? Simple. I’m not there! The players are there. The fans are there. When I’ve attended anything and they play the national anthem I stand or stop even if I’m on the concourse out of respect for the playing of the anthem. The whole premise of this question is ridiculous.”

    —————-

    The people that ask the question know its ridiculous. They simply have no logical argument so they try to set up some half-witted straw man scenario.

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