Once the NFL returns to action, it's very likely we could see a number of players protesting during the national anthem. According to a report by Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, a large group of players will kneel while the national anthem is being played. This will be in response to the death of George Floyd, which has led to players and teams speaking out the racial and social injustice issues going on in the country. La Canfora also reports NFL commissioner Roger Goodell could join the players in the protest if it happens.
The reason Goodell could join the protest is he would be remaining consistent with what he said to players in a recent video. One of the key things the NFL commissioner stated was, "I personally protest with you and want to be a part of the much-needed change in this country." In the video, Goodell also said: "We, the NFL, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the NFL, believe Black Lives Matter." He continued: "Without black players, there would be no National Football League. "And the protests around the country are emblematic of the centuries of silence, inequality and oppression of black players, coaches, fans and staff. We are listening, I am listening."
La Canfora's report goes parallel to what Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson had to say about kneeling. The 2012 MVP said he won't be the only player protesting during the 2020 season. "Just four years ago, you're seeing Kaepernick taking a knee, and now we're all getting ready to take a knee together going into this season, without a doubt," Peterson said to the Houston Chronicle. Back in 2018, the NFL added a policy where players were required to stand during the anthem. However, if they didn't want to stand, they could stay in the locker room until the song was over. Peterson said if a large group of players were to do it, the league can't punish them.
"We've got to put the effort in as a group collectively. Are they going to try to punish us all? If not, playing football is going to help us save lives and change things, then that's what it needs to be," Peterson added.