During Tuesday’s meeting with owners and players, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league didn’t ask for a commitment from players to stand for the national anthem. Instead, Goodell explained, “We spent today talking about the issues that players have been trying to bring attention to – issues to make our communities better.”
In response, Donald Trump criticized the NFL via Twitter for not forcing players to stand for the national anthem, writing they are displaying “total disrespect for our great country” by protesting during the national anthem.
ESPN‘s Adam Schefter originally reported that NFL owners would discuss a possible rule change in this week’s meeting. While many team owners feel strongly about players standing for the national anthem, both the players and owners who were in attendance on Tuesday reportedly thought the meeting was “beneficial.” Goodell will meet with the owners again on Wednesday to continue their discussion about the national anthem, according to ESPN.
This comes on the heels of the Jacksonville Jaguars apologizing to the city’s director of military affairs chief – as well as local military representatives – for kneeling during the American national anthem and standing for the British national anthem prior to their game against the Baltimore Raven last month in London, England. Jaguars president Mark Lamping said in a letter that the franchise owes them an apology for doing so and hopes they accept.
“It bears repeating that we were remiss in not fully comprehending the effect of the national anthem demonstration occurring on foreign soil has had on the men and women who have or continue to serve our country,” Lamping wrote. “Similarly, we today can better appreciate how standing for ‘God Save the Queen’ may have been viewed negatively by our armed forces here in Jacksonville and beyond.”
Lamping continued: “As covered during our conversation on Thursday, this was an oversight and certainly not intended to send a message that would disparage you, our flag or our nation. The notion never entered the minds of our players or anyone affiliated with the Jacksonville Jaguars, but today we can understand how the events in London on September 24 could have been viewed or misinterpreted. We owe you an apology and hope you will accept it.”