The topic of national anthem made headlines for several weeks now following President Donald Trump taking an aim at NFL players who decided to dishonor the flag. As the ratings crashed, the sale of tickets dropped as well, and fans started boycotting, Roger Goodell, the league’s commissioner, made a statement Tuesday, which read, in part:
Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem. It is an important moment in our game. We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us. We also care deeply about our players and respect their opinions and concerns about critical social issues.
The controversy over the Anthem is a barrier to having honest conversations and making real progress on the underlying issues. We need to move past this controversy, and we want to do that together with our players.
However, it turns out that the league will go back on that statement. According to Reuters, the NFL is not willing to force players to stand, but it will talk about making an alternate solution during meetings with team owners Tuesday and Wednesday.
Joe Lockhart, an NFL spokesman, said Friday during a conference call:
“(Goodell) has a plan that he is going to present to owners about how to use our platform to both raise awareness and make progress on issues of social justice and equality in this country
What we don’t have is a proposal that changes our policy, we don’t have something that mandates anything. That’s clear. If that was the case I doubt the head of the NFLPA would have put a joint statement out with us.”
It is going to be an interesting event seeing the way NFL approaches the protests going forward, as The New York Times reported a recent Morning Consult study concluded the NFL is now among the most divisive brands in the country.