After days of speculation, the NFL announced it has no plans to force players to stand during the national anthem; however, a spokesperson did confirm that the #TakeAKnee movement will be discussed when Commissioner Roger Goodell meets with team owners next week.
“(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,” NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart said, according to Reuters.
Goodell and the head of the NFL Players Association will meet with owners Tuesday and Wednesday in NYC to address the growing and polarizing protests. A group of players will also be in attendance.
“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 said.
Earlier this week, it was reported that the NFL was considering implementing a rule that would require all athletes to stand during the national anthem, thus putting an end to the #TakeAKnee movement. The report came after Goodell sent a memo to all NFL teams, underscoring the importance of standing during the national anthem, as fans expect players to “honor our flag and our country.” Goodell also said the meeting will address ways the NFL can use its platform to raise awareness about social issues and inequality in the U.S.
“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,” Lockhart explained. ”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.”