NFL Won't Punish Players for Anthem Protests

League meeting fails to end controversy
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 18, 2017 5:20 AM CDT
NFL Meeting Fails to End Anthem Controversy
In this Jan. 1, 2017 photo, then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick stands on the sideline during an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif.   (AP Photo/Tony Avelar File)

The NFL says it is not going to punish players who stand or kneel when the anthem is played before games—but a meeting between officials, players, and owners in New York City Tuesday failed to resolve the controversy. The meeting at the league's headquarters lasted several hours and included 11 owners and 13 players as well as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and other officials, NPR reports. Despite persistent attacks from President Trump, Goodell said the league did not ask for any changes to the anthem policy, which states that players "should"—not must—stand when the anthem is played.

Goodell said the league and players would probably meet again in two weeks. Owners said the meeting had been "positive" and "constructive" despite the lack of a resolution. "We need to be above petty attacks from anybody, because racial and socioeconomic inequality has existed in this country for too long," San Francisco 49ers co-owner and chief executive Jed York told the New York Times when asked about Trump's remarks. "You got to block out the noise and go do your job, and that’s what we need to focus on." (The player who started the protests says he has been blackballed by owners.)

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