After meeting, NFL, NFLPA release statement indicating no change to anthem policy

Shalise Manza YoungYahoo Sports Columnist
Shutdown Corner

The much-publicized Tuesday meeting between NFL officials, team owners, NFLPA officials and several players lasted about  three hours. While there was undoubtedly a lot discussed in that time, it sounds as though there has not been a resolution on a rule change to require that players stand for the national anthem before games.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (L) and Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank were among those taking part in Tuesday’s meeting with players and NFLPA representatives. (AP)
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (L) and Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank were among those taking part in Tuesday’s meeting with players and NFLPA representatives. (AP)

A statement released jointly by the NFL and NFLPA called it a “productive meeting,” and that there will be another session in the future:

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Today owners and players had a productive meeting focused on how we can work together to promote positive social change and address inequality in our communities. NFL executives and owners joined NFLPA executives and player leaders to review and discuss plans to utilize our platform to promote equality and effectuate positive change. We agreed that these are common issues and pledged to meet again to continue this work together.

As we said last week, everyone who is part of our NFL community has a tremendous respect for our country, our flag, our anthem and our military. In the best American tradition, we are coming together to find common ground and commit to the hard work required for positive change.

Eleven owners and 13 players were part of the discussions Tuesday, which were held at the NFL headquarters in New York. After the owners and players met, there was a previously scheduled owners-only meeting to discuss the anthem as well as other league matters.

Yahoo Sports reporter Charles Robinson, who is in New York for Tuesday’s meetings, wrote on Twitter, “Sounds like nothing definitive accomplished in meeting between players, NFL, NFLPA. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross sounded measured at best.”’s Judy Battista tweeted that the meeting was the “best the communication has ever been between players and owners,”  though there was no final agreement.

Also via Twitter, Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins told Bob Glauber of Newsday that the meeting was collaborative, and that there wasn’t much time spent of the anthem, but rather more on ways the two sides can move forward on issues of social justice.

Jenkins also told Glauber that Colin Kaepernick was invited to Tuesday’s meeting but didn’t attend. Kaepernick’s lawyer, who is mounting the former 49er quarterback’s grievance case against the league, disputed what Jenkins said about his client, saying:



Here is a list of the attendees of Tuesday’s meeting:

Players – Anquan Boldin (retired); Colts’ Darius Butler; Chargers’ Russell Okung; Dolphins’ Kenny Stills; Julius Thomas, Michael Thomas; Giants’ Mark Herzlich; Jets’ Kelvin Beachum, Demario Davis; Eagles’ Malcolm Jenkins, Chris Long; 49ers’ Eric Reid, and Washington’s Josh Norman.

Team owners – Michael Bidwill, Arizona; Arthur Blank, Atlanta; Terry Pegula, Buffalo; Robert McNair, Houston; Shad Khan, Jacksonville; Stephen Ross, Miami; Robert Kraft, New England; John Mara, Giants; Art Rooney, Pittsburgh; Jeffrey Lurie, Philadelphia, and Jed York, San Francisco.

NFL – Roger Goodell and Troy Vincent

NFLPA – DeMaurice Smith, Eric Winston and Don Davis

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