Next week the NFL is set to discuss its ongoing national anthem controversy about whether players should stand or be allowed to kneel in peaceful protest.
In a letter sent to NFL owners Tuesday, Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a nation that feels very divided, sports and the NFL brings people together and allows them to set aside their differences.
“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,” Goodell wrote.
Goodell said he was proud of players and owners who have been working to address the underlying political issues over the last year, but that he and the leadership of the NFL Players Association believes that everyone should stand for the anthem.
An open discussion with NFL owners and Goodell will take place next week in New York City in hopes of resolving the kneeling dispute.
President Donald Trump has not commented on Goodell’s statement, but late Monday tweeted about possibly taxing the NFL more since it was “disrespecting [the] anthem, flag and country.”
Why is the NFL getting massive tax breaks while at the same time disrespecting our Anthem, Flag and Country? Change tax law!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 10, 2017
There were many mixed reactions to Goodell’s statement.
Odd choice for the NFL to announce the policy Trump wanted them to adopt on the same day Trump threatened their tax status— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) October 10, 2017
The Roger Goodell NFL letter in a nutshell=— Tariq Nasheed 🇺🇸 (@tariqnasheed) October 10, 2017
"Hey Black Americans...stop making a fuss about white racism and learn to suffer in silence"
As a military veteran and an NFL fan, I find it cynical and dangerous for Roger Goodell to silence peaceful protest from black athletes.— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) October 10, 2017
NFL commissioner wants to “move past this controversy”—100s of years of slavery, violence, and oppression isn’t a controversy. It’s America— Jordan (@JordanChariton) October 10, 2017
The #NFL is Now A War Zone. I'm out. 🚮— 🌐 X👥X 🤔 (@LilStompyFoot) October 10, 2017