NFL Comisssioner and QB Colin Kaepernick

NFL and Players Association Issue Joint Statement Amid Protests: Nothing Resolved

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke out Tuesday evening in a very brief press update following an annual meeting with NFL players and owners at the league's headquarters in New York City.

Goodell, speaking to reporters after a two-day owners meeting in NY, announced no plans to change the league's policy.

On Tuesday, a collection of 13 players, union leaders, 11 team owners and National Football League executives met to discuss social issues and plans "to promote equality and effectuate positive change".

Said Goodell: "The fact is that we have about half a dozen players that are protesting".

Goodell and owners said the league is focused on supporting players' community activism efforts.

There were 13 players in attendance at the joint meeting, including Eric Reid, who has been kneeling during the national anthem since the start of the movement by then-teammate, Colin Kaepernick.

York said owners are focused on helping players use their platforms to advance their message. "What we're trying to do is deal with the underlying issue and understand what it is they're protesting". "About issues in our communities to make our communities better", Goodell told reporters.

The CBA prohibits owners from conspiring against a player and blackballing them from employment, but it also gives owners great protection.

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Some fans have said they are heeding his calls to boycott games while the kneeling continues, which Trump has said is unpatriotic and an insult to the country's military veterans.

Other players followed suit, and the movement spread after criticism from US President Donald Trump last month.

The president has made the protests, mainly acted out by kneeling during the pre-game national anthem, a central part of his nationalist rhetoric in recent weeks as he attempts to reframe the quest for equality as an anti-patriotic gesture.

Goodell on Wednesday said the players effectively communicated their reasons for protesting.

Goodell is expected to speak to the media when the meeting concludes on Wednesday afternoon. "They have a very deep understanding and tremendous knowledge of the issues that are going on in all of our communities, and their commitment to addressing these issues is really admirable".

"We just talked about how the owners could come alongside us and we could collectively, collaboratively work together to actually create some change and some real changes". "But they also understand how it's being interpreted".

And most significantly, while Goodell and his 32 bosses know they have a problem on their hands, to date with the notable exception of Dallas' Jerry Jones, they have done more to defend their players' rights to express themselves during the anthem than they have to restrict them. "That's where our hope is, and we hope over time, few players will kneel".

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