Sport Roger Goodell's letter to NFL team execs seeks unified plan to move past anthem situation

21:05  10 october  2017
21:05  10 october  2017 Source:   Sporting News

Roger Goodell's letter to NFL team execs seeks unified plan to move past anthem situation

  Roger Goodell's letter to NFL team execs seeks unified plan to move past anthem situation The letter offers a rough plan for how teams and players could proceed in the current dispute over protests during the national anthem.Under the subject line "Re: Fall Meeting/National Anthem," Goodell opens with the words, "We live in a county that can feel very divided.

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Roger Goodell gathered NFL team owners, players to discuss protests. “We were basically talking about what we’re going to do to move forward and how we’re going to approach the whole kneeling situation ,” Casillas said.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday sent a letter to team CEOs and presidents, offering a rough outline of a plan for how the league, its teams and players will proceed in the current dispute over protests during the national anthem, ESPN reported, citing a copy of the letter obtained by NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Under the subject line "Re: Fall Meeting/National Anthem," Goodell opens with the words, "We live in a county that can feel very divided."

"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," he continues.

NFL commissioner Goodell calls for end to player protests during National Anthem

  NFL commissioner Goodell calls for end to player protests during National Anthem NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has said "everyone should stand for the National Anthem" in a memo sent to all team owners. Goodell wrote to all 32 NFL teams on Tuesday following weeks of controversy surrounding the large number of players who have protested against perceived racial injustice by taking a knee during the anthems. A copy of the memo was published on NFL.com.On Sunday, US vice president Mike Pence walked out of the Indianapolis Colts' game against the San Francisco 49ers after a large number of 49ers players took a knee during the anthem.

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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell © Getty Images NFL commissioner Roger Goodell

Goodell appears to try and walk a line in the letter between teams' desire for players to stand during the anthem ("Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem") and players' First Amendment right to protest ("We also care deeply about our players and respect their opinions and concerns about critical social issues.")

The commissioner says the league office has developed a plan to be presented at next week's league meetings with the goal being consistency on a league-level work and work on the team level in addressing the ongoing controversy.

It appears under the league's plan, per the memo, players would be offered an alternate platform for voicing their opinions on social issues in return for their standing during the anthem.

Gerald McCoy says it will be an 'uproar' if NFL players are forced to stand during anthem

  Gerald McCoy says it will be an 'uproar' if NFL players are forced to stand during anthem Gerald McCoy said that forcing a player to stand is "taking away a constitutional right to freedom of speech."The Buccaneers defensive lineman said forcing players to stand will result in an "uproar" and would be a violation of the First Amendment.

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Writing that he expects a "full and open discussion" of the issues next week in New York, Goodell closes with, "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."

To see the full text of the letter, click here.

NFL 'to encourage' players to stand for national anthem .
The NFL believes its players should stand for the national anthem but will not force them to do so, commissioner Roger Goodell has said. Goodell was speaking a day after a meeting between NFL executives, team owners, players and union leaders to discuss player protests which have been staged during the playing of the national anthem prior to NFL games.The protests, against racial inequality, have been strongly criticised by United States president Donald Trump and blamed for a subsequent decline in the NFL's television ratings.

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