During a conference call on Tuesday, NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart said that discussions about the national anthem would be “front and center on the agenda” for next week’s league meetings.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to top team executives and presidents on Tuesday expressing the same and also outlining some of what will be discussed. Goodell writes that he is proud of the way that players and owners have worked to understand and address the issues that led to players protesting social issues, but that the controversy over the anthem that reignited this fall with President Trump making it one of the top items on his agenda has become a “barrier” to further progress.
Goodell writes that the league believes that everyone should stand for the national anthem, which echoes the language in the league’s operations manual. Lockhart said that the issue will be “front and center” on the agenda for next week’s ownership meeting, suggesting that the wording could change so that players “must” stand without being collectively bargained with the NFLPA.
Goodell does not delve into that question, but writes that the league needs to “move past this controversy” and work with players to address the issues at the core of the protests that have taken place around the league over the last two years. His memo lays out some of the ways the league hopes to do that and the entire memo can be found right here.