NFL Won't Force Players To Stand For National Anthem

NFL Won't Force Players To Stand For National Anthem

49ers safety Eric Reid will not fly home with his team Sunday following the team's loss to Washington.

"Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem", he wrote.

The Green Bay Packers made a decision to stand with locked arms during the anthem ahead of their game with the Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis.

In last week's game in Indianapolis, Vice President Mike Pence left the game immediately after more than 20 San Francisco players kneeled during the anthem, with teammates standing behind them.

Pence voiced his displeasure on social media after leaving that game, saying on Twitter that he would not dignify any event that disrespects soldiers, the flag or the anthem.

"He knew our team has had the most players protest", Reid said. President Donald Trump tweeted that he had told Pence to exit if a protest occurred, costing the public some $90,000 to prove a political point.

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NFL players who have demonstrated during the national anthem have said they are protesting police brutality and racism, but not the flag or the anthem itself. A number of players followed Kaepernick's lead by taking a knee during the anthem past year. Players have been silently protesting racial injustice in the United States by taking a knee before the game while the anthem is played.

According to Reuters, NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart says that Goodell will work with players to find a way to use their platform for the cause.

"Basically, the message from the National Football League is going to be that it has empathy for its players and the situation they now find themselves in", a source told CBS Sports.

Last week the NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, said players should stand for the anthem as it emerged that the protest movement was affecting the popularity of the country's richest league among large sections of its fanbase. It also is not clear if the owners will take action to require players to stand for the anthem if the NFLPA does not support such a measure.

Goodell did not threaten players with punishment if they chose not to do so, however. But the commissioner stopped short of demanding or ordering players to stand.

The issue will be prominent on this week's agenda in NY, but the discussion among league and union officials, owners and players will focus on how else to approach social activism.

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