NFL and players hold 'positive' meeting amid national anthem controversy

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Goodell held a press conference and pretended National Anthem protests didn't even come up during the meeting.

US President Donald Trump slammed the National Football League (NFL) again on Wednesday for not forcing players to stand for the national anthem.

Both sides have said previously that there will be no change to the current policy, but Roger Goodell state in a memo this week that it was his preference that all players stand - so as to minimize distractions.

Colin Kaepernick, the first player to begin protesting the national anthem last season, mentioned police brutality specifically to in 2016 when asked why he knelt. The meeting resulted in the league confirming that it will not penalize players who take a knee during the pregame playing of the National Anthem.

York said owners are focused on helping players use their platforms to advance their message. We always have had a partnership with our players and now we have to stand with them on these important issues.

"I will tell you that our players are men of great character - they have a very deep understanding and tremendous knowledge of the issues that are going on in all our communities".

"But former 49ers teammate Eric Reid, who knelt alongside Kaepernick last season, said he would continue to do so as he emerged from the meeting wearing a T-shirt carrying the slogan "#IMWITHKAP". This is a long-term commitment that we have to make. Several owners said they do not expect that to change by the time they conclude their meetings Wednesday. "Like I said, it's a great starting point".

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"The players were very clear about how they felt about these issues and how deeply they felt about these issues in our communities", said Mr. Goodell.

Trump had tweeted more than dozen times related to NFL and national anthem controversy.

Since the meeting, the NFL's commissioner has been asked repeatedly about the anthem.

New York Giants co-owner John Mara said that Jones spoke at length during Wednesday's discussion by the owners on the issue.

Quarterback Kaepernick first sat down during the USA national anthem in August 2016, before opting to kneel instead, in protest against racial injustice. "We had a real focus on making sure all of our teams understood the kind of dialogue that took place and the kind of things that they were interested in getting support".

When pressed on the issues, Goodell talked about taking action. He also talked about what the league can do to impact equality issues, whether that be educational or economic.

"This agreement like it or not, the parties bargained for it, says that 14 or more teams can't conspire to keep a player out of the league", Balitis says.