“The commissioner and the owners do want the players to stand."
NFL team owners will reportedly consider a rule change that would require players to stand during the national anthem, just as President Trump had suggested during one of his many rants against anthem protestors in the NFL.
According to NFL.com, commissioner Roger Goodell sent out a memo to all 32 teams today addressing the issue of the national anthem before games. In the memo, obtained by NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, Goodell stated that the league believes "that everyone should stand for the National Anthem," and that "the controversy over the Anthem is a barrier to having honest conversations and making real progress on the underlying issues."
In the league-wide memo, Goodell writes,
"Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem. It is an important moment in our game. 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."
He added, "we have worked to develop a plan that we will review with you at next week's League meeting. This would include such elements as an in-season platform to promote the work of our players on these core issues, and that will help to promote positive change in our country."
NFL chief spokesman Joe Lockhart told reporters today (Via Reuters),
“Everyone at this point is frustrated by the situation,” Lockhart said. “The commissioner and the owners do want the players to stand. We think it is an important part of the game.”
Last month, Trump called on NFL owners to fire "son of a bitch" players who refused to stand for the national anthem. This past weekend, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said his team would bench any players that "disrespected the flag."
You can read Goodell's full memo to the owners regarding the national anthem protests below.