National Football League to allow players to kneel during anthem without penalty

Gov. Scott Walker said Monday national anthem protests should take a backseat to domestic abuse issues in the NFL. File

Gov. Scott Walker said Monday national anthem protests should take a backseat to domestic abuse issues in the NFL. File

NFL owners and players from around the league arranged to have a sitdown meeting in NY to address player protests and to determine the best course of action moving forward.

Mr. Goodell said that the National Football League plans to hold another meeting with owners and players in about two weeks.

"What we're trying to do is stay out of politics", Goodell said.

The absence of an agreement on the national anthem means that players may continue to take a knee even as the NFL grapples with declining television ratings and fan outrage over the protests. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has said his team would bench any player who protests during the anthem and thereby, in Jones's view, shows disrespect to the American flag. "The players we met with today were deeply emotional and knowledgeable about the issues they're passionate about".

"I will tell you that our players are men of great character - they have a very deep understanding and tremendous knowledge of the issues that are going on in all our communities". "We'll address issues - I can't deal with hypotheticals right now, we'll deal with those issues if they come up - but for right now, that's our focus". Instead, he said, the team owners generally agreed it was important to listen to players' concerns.

Mike Freeman tweeted that the former San Francisco 49ers player has hired attorney Mark Geragos and that an official statement will be released in the near future.

Colin Kaepernick wants a job and feels like his role in initiating the national anthem protest is why he doesn't have one.

Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said on Wednesday that the meetings were "all good". The number of players refusing to stand has fallen off dramatically since peaking shortly after President Trump suggested at a September 22 speech that owners should fire any "son of a bitch" who refuses to stand. "This is an issue that can unite people across America", the governor wrote.

Goodell also said that the protests also presented an opportunity to make "real differences in our community".

When pressed on the issues, Goodell talked about taking action.

More players have begun kneeling since Trump criticized the practice, and some sympathetic teammates have linked arms with the kneelers while standing themselves.

The CBA prohibits owners from conspiring against a player and blackballing them from employment, but it also gives owners great protection.

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