The controversy surrounding NFL players who choose to kneel during the national anthem as an act of protest continues. President Donald Trump's vendetta against the players (who have repeatedly pointed out that they're protesting police brutality, not the anthem itself) has divided Americans between those who support the players and those who think kneeling during the anthem is unpatriotic.
I think our clubs all see this the same way -- we want our players to stand, we're going to encourage them to stand and we're going to continue to work on these issues in the community. We'll address issues -- I can't deal with hypotheticals right now, we'll deal with those issues if they come up -- but for right now, that's our focus.
The fact is that we have about half a dozen players that are protesting. We hope and continue to work to try to put that at zero -- that's what we'd like to do.
On Twitter, however, an activist named @Samswey served up a hard truth.
Goodell’s comments about “understanding” are not a substitute for advocating for real local, state, federal policies to end police violence.— Samuel Sinyangwe (@samswey) October 18, 2017
It’s not a commitment to support players who use their platform for good or to lend NFL resources, spaces, and airtime to push for changes.— Samuel Sinyangwe (@samswey) October 18, 2017
NFL wrote a letter & gave vague promises of community change. That won't stop POC from being murdered by racist cops. Need convictions.— Donald Nelson (@HanoyShan) October 19, 2017
Did you even listen to the full quote? Does NFL want protests to stop? Yes. Are they working with players to bring about change? Also yes.— CaptainTouchback (@CaptTouchback) October 18, 2017
In a recent letter to Congress in support of the Sentencing and Corrections Act of 2017, Commissioner Goodell and Seahawks Wide Receiver Doug Baldwin supported the protesting players:
When the hometowns of our players or the 32 communities in which our clubs are located are hurting - whether from natural disasters or those that are man-made - so too are our teams. And like most Americans, our owners, players, coaches and clubs spring into action to help. Over the last two seasons, one particular issue that has come to the forefront for our players and our teams is the issue of justice for all.
Goodell and Jones are cowards. Way to support the people who are earning your pay check. Scary asking for basic human rights is polarizing.— HawkI85 (@j_m_r_85) October 19, 2017
“I wonder what they’re protesting, it sounds complex, let’s have meetings about it to find out what everyone in the meeting thinks”— Scott Kingsley Clark (@scottkclark) October 19, 2017
And Goodell quote is “we hope” before plan to work to zero protest; intent+plan combines w POTUS pressure on NFL to end protest— BarbaraAnn Radnofsky (@TXBarbaraAnn) October 19, 2017
"Stop killing people who don't deserve it" is NOT complex.— Psych Y. R. Mind (@ABC123TLC) October 19, 2017