Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports

Roger Goodell: There has been no policy change to national anthem protocol

Ryan Hannable
October 11, 2017 - 10:46 pm

On Wednesday morning, president Donald Trump tweeted: It is about time that Roger Goodell of the NFL is finally demanding that all players STAND for our great National Anthem-RESPECT OUR COUNTRY.

Well, according to the commissoner himself, that isn't the case.

"There has been no policy change." Goodell told NFL Network's Nate Burleson Wednesday night. "What we’ve had is unprecedented dialogue over the last year with our players, our owners, with community leaders and law enforcement. What we plan to do is have a very in-depth discussion with the players and owners next week to make sure we truly understand the issues and also understand the approach we want to take together with the players to address these issues in our communities."

Next week at the league meetings, members of the NFLPA will be present to discuss more on how to make progress on the important social issues that players have vocalized.

"That’s the part of issue here – the real dialogue and the real issues have been overtaken by the controversy," Goodell said. "What we want to do is get back to focusing on the actions that we want to take to really improve our communities and support our players to get things done. We want to get to from our current situation to where we are really making a difference in the community and get involved in action that is going to have a positive outcome for our law enforcement, for our communities, and for our country overall."

Goodell also added there is some sense of urgency to get the matter resolved.

"I do think there’s a sense of urgency because we want to get in the communities and make a positive impact," he said. "It’s important for us to continue to work together. The urgency that we all feel is continuing the work that we are doing, keeping focused and having a positive outcome for our players, our communities, our teams, our fans and for the leaders in our communities.

"I believe that urgency is actually beneficial -- but this isn’t something that started two weeks ago, this is something that we have been focused on for well over a year. It requires patience and a deeper understanding than we have on a lot of these issues. I know our fans are focused on football, as they should be. We want to get that focus on football. We want to support our players, support our communities, and help make them better."

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