NFL Makes No Rule Change for Standing During National Anthem

NFL players, owners, executives and the NFL Players Association met in New York on Tuesday to discuss a potential rule change that would require players to stand during the national anthem. ESPN reports they ultimately decided to make no change to the existing rule that requires players "should" stand.

"We did not ask for it," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said of a policy change. "We spent today talking about the issues players are trying to bring attention to. Issues in our communities, to make our communities better."

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Goodell called the discussion with players "very productive" and "important," adding it "reflected our commitment to work together on issues of social justice."

The NFL and NFLPA released a joint statement after the meeting, which lasted for hours, calling the talk "productive" and reiterating that the league and its players have a "tremendous respect" for the country, flag, anthem and military. The statement also indicated that the group is working toward effecting positive change in their communities.

Colin Kaepernick, the former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers who began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 to protest police brutality and racial inequality, was not invited to the meeting, according to his lawyer, Mark Geragos.

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"Colin Kaepernick was not invited to attend today's meeting by any official from the NFL or any team executives," Geragos said in a statement. "Other players wanted him present and have asked that he attend the next meeting with the goal of forging a lasting and faithful consensus around these issues. Mr. Kaepernick is open to future participation on these important discussions."


Goodell said that players and owners will meet again sometime in the next two weeks. Owners meetings will resume Wednesday with more discussion on the anthem.

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