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Columns

National Anthem: Letter to NFL Owners

October 10, 2017 - 5:00pm

We live in a country that can feel very divided. Sports, and especially the NFL, brings people together and lets them set aside those divisions, at least for a few hours. The current dispute over the National Anthem is threatening to erode the unifying power of our game, and is now dividing us, and our players, from many fans across the country.

I’m very proud of our players and owners who have done the hard work over the past year to listen, understand and attempt to address the underlying issues within their communities. At our September committee meetings, we heard directly from several players about why these issues are so important to them and how we can support their work. And last week, we met with the leadership of the NFLPA and more players to advance the dialogue.

Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem. It is an important moment in our game. We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us. We also care deeply about our players and respect their opinions and concerns about critical social issues. The controversy over the Anthem is a barrier to having honest conversations and making real progress on the underlying issues. We need to move past this controversy, and we want to do that together with our players.

Building on many discussions with clubs and players, we have worked to develop a plan that we will review with you at next week’s League meeting. This would include such elements as an in-season platform to promote the work of our players on these core issues, and that will help to promote positive change in our country. We want to ensure that any work at the League level is consistent with the work that each club is doing in its own community, and that we dedicate a platform that can enable these initiatives to succeed. Additionally, we will continue the unprecedented dialogue with our players.

I expect and look forward to a full and open discussion of these issues when we meet next week in New York. Everyone involved in the game needs to come together on a path forward to continue to be a force for good within our communities, protect the game, and preserve our relationship with fans throughout the country. The NFL is at its best when we ourselves are unified. In that spirit, let’s resolve that next week we will meet this challenge in a unified and positive way.

Roger Goodell, commissioner of the National Football League, released this letter Tuesday.

Comments

Did Goodell just come back from a Trip to Mars? He promoted the "Bended-Knee Fiasco", with his out-spoken support for these Over-paid Malcontents. He ignored all the E-mails, letters, and out-cries from the Public for almost 2 years. I suspect that it was and is ( The Fear of Financial Losses), by ALL the NFL Team owners and sponsors whose's pocket-books were beginning to look a little Thin, as GREED is there Sole Motivator. I will Never watch again, and I hope many many more change the Channel.

To be honest, I could care less about one idiot going down on his knee in protest. But now, having so many more has caused me to leave the NFL. I've discovered College Football, where the players actually RUN hard, and WORK hard, all to be noticed by the so-called "professional" scout. If the kid makes that, then he'll join the crowd and take his very first knee! He'll dodge tackles by stepping out of bounds and he'll call a 'fair' catch, then let it roll all the way to the one yard line. Oh yeah, real exciting. Boy, these professionals are sure great. If any player was to go back to college, he'd never make the draft, OR first cut! GO College Football!

to little to late not spending any more waiting for the NFL to treat players and coaches like adults, not spoiled children.

You mean 'too' little and 'too' late?

It is really about character, integrity and honor... I acknowledge their are injustices in this country. However, there is an appropriate method to voice those grievances. To disrespect this country, flag and all who died to ensure we can even play or watch football is wrong to me, and obviously others. The other problem I have is there have been all kinds of problems with domestic violence, substance abuse, weapons, etc., yet surprisingly, you don't see players taking a stand for these serious issues within the NFL, and there is murder and violence in communities and areas of the country that have prompted no outrage whatsoever. However, less than 0.5% of all police interactions result in violent interactions of any kind, let alone racial issues. However, 90% of all murders are committed by people of the same race and/or by someone they know, yet there is no outrage over all of these issues. This country and every race and culture really need to do some self and community reflection, because if these things don't change, nothing will ever change...

Check the records and you will find an extraordinary HIGH percentage of NFL players arrested / accused / fined / punished for Beating their Wives, Girlfriends, and a whole lot more.

Roger Goodell, you are a "fake and a fraud" with so many BAD DECISIONS "under your belt" since your "elevation" to "NFL King"; your decisions have brought the NFL "to its knees"...a position from which it may never recover. A recent photo circulating shows the "Seatle Seahawks" and their Head Coach in their lockeroom encircling and celebrating a player BURNING THE AMERICAN FLAG !!! This is what we Americans call a "CLINCHER" clearly indicating what your members actually think of America, (as well as their own dangerously inflated self importance)...! (International Soccer may well replace the NFL in the hearts and minds of America's Citizens...)

Watch and enjoy college football! Much better than the alleged 'pros'.

Nobody gives a flying fig what the players' social concerns are because the fans pay to watch them play ball only. Why pay for admission or support any team that doesn't respect the implied contract with the fans by accepting the payment for a ticket. That is a breach of contract.

Quoting in part from RGB above, but changing one word. "You better find a way to maintain "players" rights or there will be a landslide of "Protests" and associated lawsuits."

I gave up watching the NFL. I am enjoying the decay of the artificial social concerns that the Democrats hype and gin up to agitate National Division. They are losing it and this is just more of the self-destructive behavior that caused all the "Social Injustice" BS.

You better find a way to maintain employers rights or there will be a land slide of "Protests" and associated lawsuits.

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