The NFL will not be forcing their players to stand during the playing of the National Anthem. In a strange turn of events, commissioner Rodger Goodell backtracked on the subject and now says that the letter he sent to all 32 teams asking that they have their players stand will not be enforced. Instead, the NFL plans to promote “social justice” causes.
NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart explained on Friday that when Goodell and the team owners meet on Oct. 17-18 in New York they will be discussing the National Anthem protest, but they’ll now be looking to find a way to incorporate the social issues that are of concern to players into the NFL platform, according to the New York Post.
Previously, it was thought the NFL was going to buckle down and force players to stand by changing league policy.
Lockhart shot down any possibility of that stating: “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.”
Lockhart added in a phone conference: “(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.”
Goodell has already announced he invited NFL Player Association executive director DeMaurice Smith to the New York meeting to help them create a platform for players to express social change and social justice.
Lockhart touched on Smith’s involvement, saying: “These are issues that are important to our clubs, issues that are important to our players, issues that are important to the communities in which we play.”
“That’s what we are discussing. So for everyone who has speculated over the last few days that somehow there is a proposal that is set for a vote on Tuesday or Wednesday, you are speculating,” Lockhart added.
NFL players have kneeled during the anthem to protest racial injustice in America. The movement was created by Colin Kaepernick but began to pick up steam after President Trump criticized the NFL and their players stating they should be fired if they kneel.