Roger Goodell: NFL will “encourage,” but not force, players to stand

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said after meeting with team owners today that the league wants players to stand for the national anthem but has not passed a rule that would force them to stand.

“We believe that our players should stand for the national anthem,” Goodell said. “We want our players to stand, we’re going to continue to encourage them to stand.”

Some sports leagues, including the NBA, require players to stand for the anthem and suspend them if they don’t. Goodell said he wants to find a solution that will involve the league addressing criminal justice issues that players are protesting, rather than cracking down on players’ protests.

“They are not doing this in any way to be disrespectful to the flag, but they also understand how it’s being interpreted, and that’s why we’re trying to deal with those underlying issues,” Goodell said.

Goodell stressed that few players are kneeling during the anthem and he hopes those who are will decide to stand.

“We have about half a dozen players. We hope and are going to try to get that to zero,” Goodell said.

Whether the number of players kneeling for the anthem will reach zero remains to be seen, but Goodell doesn’t plan to get there by forcing players to stand.

68 responses to “Roger Goodell: NFL will “encourage,” but not force, players to stand

  1. This is pathetic in our free country that we are blackballing Kap. Freedom of speech is everything the flag stands for not be0ing fired for your beliefs. Too bad the average NFL fan doesnt have the ability to separate this from their blind patriotism. Very very sad and a great reminder how and why this President somehow is trying to lead/divide our country.

  2. No guts Goodell. Don’t want to upset the whining Millionaires. Prediction: The kneeling will continue, the black power raised fist gestures will continue…and many more will find that life without the NFL is better. Between Hollywood and the NFL, I can’t determine which industry is wantonly killing itself faster!

  3. This is what I have to say about athletes,,,,did anybody see the injury to the Celtic player last night gruesome right ,,,,well all the big bad players turned and looked the other way all shook up ,,, well what Iam getting at is that’s nothing compared to injuries on the battlefield the same flag that men and woman have died and sustained horrific injuries for and you guys could not look at a dislocated ankle ,,,,,big sissy’s,,,Stand for the flag punks !

  4. Spineless… but once the money starts fading there will be some changes, hopefully the sorriest commish in any and all sports of all time will get the boot.

  5. How can Roger claim there are only 6 players protesting the flag and anthem when 20 SF players kneeled? And that’s only one team.

  6. Roger

    You are supposed to be a leader.

    Asking nicely ain’t getting it done.

    Lead or get out of the way.

  7. Mr. Commissioner – Since you’re not mandating your players to stand, you’re encouraging your core fans to sit out. Very bad business decision that I expect you’ll soon regret.

  8. Make a stand either way and have some gonads! If I want to get my politics on I’ll watch CNN or Fox news – NFL was my escape from that bs…so looks like I will have to spend entertainment interest/dollar else where!

  9. Please feel free to direct your outrage at the fans at the concessions getting beer, walking to their seats, and cheering or whistling prior to the anthem being finished.. its amazing what people think is outrageous.. kneeling look out! So many hypocrites

  10. Rog thinks the NFL is bulletproof. We are showing you it’s not, and he still doesn’t get it.

  11. So many people saying they are boycotting yet they are still here complaining. Trust me the NFL will make a full recovery. Have fun watching baseball

  12. Mandate players stand.
    Mandate fans stand.
    Mandate those at home stand.
    Mandate people stop their cars and stand.
    Mandate people on airplanes stand.

    If THE SONG is playing anywhere, Americans everywhere should be forced to stand.

    Because that is the country many of us want to live in.

  13. Fair enough? How about if we “encourage,” but not force people to pay for their groceries, how about if we “encourage,” but not force drivers to drive the speed limit, how about if we “encourage,” but not force people to watch the NFL games, how about if we “encourage,” but not force the Dallas Cowboys to suspend Ezekiel Elliott…

  14. wentz4prez says:
    October 18, 2017 at 2:45 pm
    So many people saying they are boycotting yet they are still here complaining. Trust me the NFL will make a full recovery. Have fun watching baseball
    ———-
    You aren’t considering the way fans may be boycotting. I am no longer buying licensed NFL products as Christmas presents for friend and family. I am also only watching segments of my home team games, not complete game and not games that involve other teams. I still have an interest but hope my boycott will help the NFL finally do the right thing.

  15. pantherpro says:
    October 18, 2017 at 2:26 pm
    This is pathetic in our free country that we are blackballing Kap. Freedom of speech is everything the flag stands for not be0ing fired for your beliefs.

    ______________________________________________

    Again, answer how he is being blackballed because of kneeling when many other players are doing the same thing yet still playing and employed??? Could it be the anti-police socks, Fidel Castro praise, racist comments by girlfriend, etc. Obviously, you should educate yourself more on everything Kaepernick.

  16. So the NFL (National FOOTBALL League) is non-committal on whether players stand or kneel for the anthem but will “address criminal justice issues”? What in the world is this clown trying to do? Viewership is down over 16% the last two years and Roger wants to double down and address criminal justice issues. You should simply know your role and stick to it.

  17. This is all of Trump’s doing. Had he not spoke about it after week 3, none of this would had been an issue. So once again the Twitter in Chief causes more divide in this nation and those that are getting mad about players are brainwashed by that reality tv idiot

  18. tonyzendejas says:
    October 18, 2017 at 2:47 pm
    Mandate players stand.
    Mandate fans stand.
    Mandate those at home stand.
    Mandate people stop their cars and stand.
    Mandate people on airplanes stand.

    —-
    Apples and Oranges…Do we work for Goddell or any of the 32 Owners he represents? Or do we view the product he and the 32 Owners put out? You obviously know the answer and since that is the situation Roger can’t tell us what to do; we can, however tell him/Park Ave/the Team Owners what WE WANT in order to retain us as customers. At this point I am still watching. It is really starting to test my patience though, so I encourage Goddell to strongly encourage players to remember who enables their lavish lifestyle and appreciate our military who ensures it is safe for them to do so.

  19. The NFL should not be in the business of addressing criminal justice issues, they struggle enough addressing their ACTUAL job : football.

    That belongs at your city council meetings, and your rep’s office. But that would require actual, you know, CIVICS.

  20. Must stink to be an agent for a anti-america protester. It might be the Social Justice League now as a whole but teams still run things their own way.

  21. I don’t agree they should be FORCED to stand. I do however think it is extremely DISRESPECTFUL not to stand.The players have a right to protest, but in this case it does not make the protest right. This is all totally overblown and completely out of control. The NFL better find common ground soon, because they are taking on water big time. History has proven that nothing is unsinkable.

  22. Most NFL games I have ever gone to, a significant portion of the fans in the stands are drinking their beers, doinking with their cell phones, talking to their neighbors. This whole country is filled with hypocrites. The owners, the players, the media and the fans. Everyone should look in the mirror. Take a look around at the next game you are at and tell me I am wrong.

    Yes, bunches of people stand, some remove their hats, some place their hand over their heart, very few ever sing. Before the anthem is over, they are already screaming and yelling (where a true military or police official would need to remain at attention until the colors are actually lowered and they are instructed to halt attention).

    We are such a whiny country now, all the way around. All those complaining about Kap are no better then him (even though he is trying to act on a principle–most of those complaining about this were triggered because Trump the puppet master made an issue out of it.). We are all hypocrites and we can all improve our understanding of what it means to be American.

  23. “They are not doing this in any way to be disrespectful to the flag, but they also understand how it’s being interpreted, and that’s why we’re trying to deal with those underlying issues,” Goodell said.

    Feigning ignorance is the plan? Are they serious?

    The players didn’t know? The league is pretending to accept that as legitimate?

    Another example of both being completely out of touch.

    Everybody knew from the beginning that if someone is doing that it is disrespectful.

    They have since had thousands of articles (hundreds on PFT alone) and hundreds of hours on TV to figure that out over the course of two different calendar seasons.

    The reason the players chose that specific time and place was to SHOW disrespect because they felt their idiocy was a lesser evil to them and thus in their minds justified. They wanted to ruffle feathers.

    Clearly the NFL and its players still haven’t gotten enough feedback about the issue.

  24. tostitochip says:
    October 18, 2017 at 3:07 pm
    This is all of Trump’s doing. Had he not spoke about it after week 3, none of this would had been an issue. So once again the Twitter in Chief causes more divide in this nation and those that are getting mad about players are brainwashed by that reality tv idiot…

    He has right to express his opinion as much as the player. And this started under the former genius and swept under the rug by Goddell.

    Who is dividing the nation? The BLM protests or a man that simply speaks his opinion

  25. gibbskins9 says:
    October 18, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    time for the NFL to lose their tax exemption status!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    ————————–

    They gave it up a couple of years ago.

  26. truthdispensary says:
    October 18, 2017 at 4:08 pm
    Anyone kneeling to the flag doesn’t deserve the benefits it provides.
    ———————————————————-

    ….like the benefit of free speech?
    ….the right to protest?

    those benefits?

  27. At this point the only reason I am watching, is that I am financially invested. Two fantasy leagues and a pickem group.

    This started as a protest of “oppression” and “police brutality”. Anyone failing to admit that is being completely disingenuous. Now the protesting players are spinning off to who the heck knows what next.

    The NFL could’ve gotten in front of this and ended it. They didn’t and this is was the fans get stuck with. Gee, thanks to all involved.

  28. It’s amazing how many people still bring up “right to protest”, has this not been explained that the first amendment enforces the right to protest from a legal stand. First amendment rights do not exist in a workplace.

  29. The NFL better find common ground soon, because they are taking on water big time. History has proven that nothing is unsinkable.

    Especially countries where citizens hold symbols in a higher regard than rights.

  30. geeee7 says:
    October 18, 2017 at 4:33 pm
    It’s amazing how many people still bring up “right to protest”, has this not been explained that the first amendment enforces the right to protest from a legal stand. First amendment rights do not exist in a workplace.
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________

    Well according to Roger Goodell, the players have the right to protest at the workplace.

    BOOM!!!!!

  31. Roger can’t tell us what to do; we can, however tell him/Park Ave/the Team Owners what WE WANT in order to retain us as customers. At this point I am still watching. It is really starting to test my patience though, so I encourage Goddell to strongly encourage players to remember who enables their lavish lifestyle and appreciate our military who ensures it is safe for them to do so.

    Speak for yourself. That has always been your right. You do not speak for NFL fans and you do not speak for the military or veterans.

    I know quite a few veterans, and every single one of them are appalled at the number of flag-waving “patriots” who are quick to speak for them, and quick to define what is “disrespectful” TO them and their service.

    The national anthem is not the property of the military, or of veterans. It does not belong to whatever misguided notion you have been repeatedly battered with your entire life.

  32. Former fans of the NFL will continue to “encourage” fans to leave the NFL product behind. It is Goodell & the Owners who have NO regard for their fan base. They don’t deserve your loyalty any longer. Walk away. Players need to know who is in charge. It is YOU the fan, NOT the players.

    Don’t watch televised games on Thursday & Sunday.

    Don’t listen to radio broadcasts.

    Don’t purchase tickets.

    Don’t purchase or wear products, hats, jerseys, etc.

    Don’t listen to Sirius Radio- NFL station.

    #BOYCOTTTHENFL

    #UNTILNOTONEPLAYERKNEELS

    #RAISETHEFLAG

    Watch College Football.

  33. geeee7 says:
    October 18, 2017 at 4:33 pm
    It’s amazing how many people still bring up “right to protest”, has this not been explained that the first amendment enforces the right to protest from a legal stand. First amendment rights do not exist in a workplace.

    —–

    the NFL is going to have a much bigger problem if they try to force players to stand. THAT is a problem they don’t want, otherwise they would have done so already.

  34. You’d think they’d be looking for a way to placate the fans. This won’t end well for them, and may be the reason to finally fire Goodell.

  35. gibbskins9 says:
    October 18, 2017 at 3:14 pm
    time for the NFL to lose their tax exemption status!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Please start thinking for yourself. This has never been the case.

  36. The big mouths need to LEAVE!! GO!! DO not watch the NFL!!
    That is all fine….Most if not all of you AREN”T football fans anyway!!

    Goodell actually did the correct thing which is surprising….

  37. Goodell is addressing it through the networks. They are not showing the anthem anymore like they were a few weeks back. They are barely talking about who sat, kneeled or stood. Take away the main venue fans have to see the protests and hope it continues or completely goes away quietly.

  38. The NFL will bend the knee to the will of Patriotic Americans and the President.
    It is so obvious that the high ground in this battle belongs to President TRUMP (respect for country and its service men and women) that it is silly to prolong the inevitable for a confused protest that ignores the real issue of the ridiculously high murder rate by blacks as both perpetrators and victims.

  39. pantherpro says:
    October 18, 2017 at 2:26 pm
    This is pathetic in our free country that we are blackballing Kap. Freedom of speech is everything the flag stands for not be0ing fired for your beliefs. Too bad the average NFL fan doesnt have the ability to separate this from their blind patriotism. Very very sad and a great reminder how and why this President somehow is trying to lead/divide our country.

    —————
    I dont recall a single soul ever denying Kaep his freedom of speech. Please point out when anyone ever silenced him. He is still free to speak today even. Our country is free indeed you really cant say otherwise.

  40. 345snarkavenue says:
    October 18, 2017 at 4:43 pm
    geeee7 says:
    October 18, 2017 at 4:33 pm
    It’s amazing how many people still bring up “right to protest”, has this not been explained that the first amendment enforces the right to protest from a legal stand. First amendment rights do not exist in a workplace.

    —–

    the NFL is going to have a much bigger problem if they try to force players to stand. THAT is a problem they don’t want, otherwise they would have done so already.

    —————-
    In other words this is not about first amendment rights. A threat is being made.

  41. Although I live and work in the US I do work for a Canadian company and my management is in Canada. They are very good to me. Through them I have the priveledge of hiving myself and my family a very comfortable existence. If they asked me to stand and sing Oh Canada I would have no problem and do it without hesitation. My love for America does not diminish my respect for Canada too and I would have no problem honoring their flag. I owe it to them for having given me so much. So I dont get why these players dont want to honor the US flag. The US has given them a lot too. They can be mad at the police, but that does not change that thhis country has given them a lot. More than most even.

  42. This was the first press conference by an NFL commissioner that I had any interest in watching since the 1993 expansion announcements. I have to say, it was pretty damn boring.

  43. Just don’t show them during the anthem. Problem solved. No cameras no kneeling. Protests work the same way – everyone would go home if the media didn’t cover it.

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