Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
October 10th, 2017
Facing massive pressure, mutinying fans, ratings falling through the floor, advertisers demanding renegotiations of contract, other advertisers canceling their contracts outright, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell broke under the pressure and wrote a letter to all 32 league owners regarding the protests that have taken place during the national anthem, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported.
In the letter, which Schefter shared on his Facebook page, Goodell wrote that 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 would like players to stand, but the national anthem is not specifically mentioned in the NFL rulebook. However, players “should” stand for the anthem, according to the league’s game operation manual.
“Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem,” Goodell wrote. “It is an important moment in our game,” Goodell wrote. “We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us. We also care deeply about our players and respect their opinions and concerns about critical social issues. The controversy over the Anthem is a barrier to having honest conversations and making real progress on the underlying issues. We need to move past this controversy, and we want to do that together with our players.”
Could or should the NFL change the language in the operations manual to require players to stand without consent of the players?
“I don’t believe that the anthem per se is an issue that’s collective bargained,” NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart said Tuesday a conference call, with ProFootballTalk.com.
Goodell said in the letter that the issue will be discussed at league meetings next week in New York.
“Everyone involved in the game needs to come together on a path forward to continue to be a force for good within our communities, protect the game, and preserve our relationship with fans throughout the country,” Goodell wrote. 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.”
Here is the entire letter:
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