Goodell said late Tuesday that the owners had not asked the players for a pledge to stop protesting during the anthem. He said the league and players would most likely meet again in the next two weeks.
Goodell’s efforts to forge a consensus among the owners come as they are considering whether to extend his current contract by another five years.
Could Trump really be responsible for the NFL’s alleged collusion against Kaepernick, if it began in the spring, as the grievance alleges? Not entirely; but the player alleges that the collusion has been ongoing. Teams scour for replacement players all season long — the Green Bay Packers, for example, need some sort of replacement for quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who got knocked for the season last Sunday with a broken collarbone. Kaepernick’s phone didn’t ring.
Goodell declined to address Wednesday what the league would do if a team disciplines a player for refusing to stand for the anthem. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones previously has said that his team would bench any player who protests during the anthem and thereby, in Jones’s view, shows disrespect to the American flag.
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I think our clubs all see this the same way: that we want our players to stand, Goodell said.
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Of course, there is still room for improvement and consistency in hiring people of color. Based on the level of player activism in the league, I feel heartened about the potential of equality and I am confident that players will continue to push leaders in the NFL to ensure the league is diverse and inclusive, with a focus on head coaches, general managers, coordinators and assistant coaches.
Improvements are also needed not only regarding race, but also in gender hiring.