League invites NFLPA to join anthem discussion

Miami Dolphins vs New Orleans Saints - NFL International Series
NFL Football - Miami Dolphins vs New Orleans Saints - NFL International Series - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - October 1, 2017 New Orleans Saints players kneel before the U.S. national anthem before the match Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

October 11, 2017

By Frank Pingue

(Reuters) – NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith will attend meetings next week where team owners will discuss the issue of player protests during the U.S. national anthem, the two sides said on Wednesday.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell invited Smith to the Oct. 17-18 meetings in New York, where the issue of some players kneeling in protest when the anthem is played before each game is expected to command much attention.

“There has been no change in the current policy regarding the anthem,” the two sides said in a statement. “The agenda will be a continuation of how to make progress on the important social issues that players have vocalized.

“Everyone who is part of our NFL community has a tremendous respect for our country, our flag, our anthem and our military, and we are coming together to deal with these issues in a civil and constructive way.”

The protests, in a league where African-Americans make up the majority of players, have continued through the season, with some players kneeling and others standing arm-in-arm in solidarity.

The gesture is intended to call attention to what protesting players see as a pattern of racism in the treatment of African-Americans by U.S. police.

The issue has been exacerbated after U.S. President Donald Trump said last month that players who did not stand during the anthem should be fired, prompting many NFL players to kneel and lock arms in solidarity.

The NFL requires players to stand for the anthem and face the American flag, but no player has been disciplined for a protest.

League spokesman Joe Lockhart, speaking during a conference call on Tuesday, said the issue had overshadowed the season and owners would discuss it in the hopes of getting “back to football”.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

  • Arnold P

    Boycotting them and their sponsors makes me feel proud, like I’m doing my part to fight back against the race-baiting and pandering they, the DNC, and Soros are doing to try to dredge up democrat votes. They’re mainly creating a lot of resentment and anger against the NFL, and it will only get worse. No-one who supports them can call themselves a Patriot.

  • Arnold P

    Screw ’em. Any company that advertises on the NFL now will see their sales drop because people will boycott them for doing it. Remember Target?

  • Ted McElroy

    This whole protest movement started by Colin Kaepernick last year with the 49’ers is based on the false narrative that the Soros backed BLM protestors started over the shooting of Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson when Brown attacked him and attempted to steal his service weapon. This fact was established after 3 autopsies and a Grand Jury containing many members of the black community of Ferguson. But that never stopped the BLM from rioting, looting and burning and creating the false gesture of “Hands up don’t shoot”. As a military vet I refuse to be subjected to seeing these overpaid athletes disrespect our National Anthem, flag, military and police forces. I stopped watching NFL football after Colin Kaepernick started this and I will never return.

  • Ken Jones

    You have gotta quit smoking that crap. It has warped your brain!

  • Scott

    What is happing to the NFL is a great business case study in HOW to lost your customer or Fans by being Liberal in feelings of coming together (which is not business) and disrespecting Fan feeling of Patriotism.

    NFL is listing to players that have NO sense of patriotism and fallowing their ideas base in their feelings. They will be the first Big rich Business organization to lost large amount of their Business by first NOT listing to the fans who pay the bill and taking employees ideas on issues over customer FEELING of Patriotic feelings for the country.

    Listing to Black employees about social issues and they are young and will educated to be Democratic therefore protesting the country is normal not to make this country great but put it down. NFL has changed their mission from playing football at the highest level creating great games for entertainment to making small communities feel good.

    How is that going to pay the bill and make a profit. But these owners are so rich and so Democrat they do not feeling of Patriotism like it use to be and it was linked to the NFL. The NFL management is liberal in thinking over GOOD business ideas to the Fan base enjoying the game for they have pick players feeling over FANS feeling for the country.

    Players are young, ignorant and arrogant about their important to the business they do not care about the Fans feeling and love of Country and FOOTBALL being together that what made the Business that pay their salary to level its at. Players want to feel important on made up subject matter on the field by being disrespectful to the Flag and Fans feeling.. Fans do not want to see it from group of rich players over political impermanences on the field they PAID to watch good football as entertainment only not a optical protest that insults their FEELING of country.

    The Players can say anything they want about what its about. But reality is with the customer the Fans and players an NFL management and owners are WRONG but arrogances make them FEEL special in life makes foolish business decisions. NFL is losing Fans in large number and if they think they can bring them back NO way for this is emotional about the Country is state of war and NFL is not showing respect to the Flag and FANS. They will lose business and gain nothing from this except a BAD image. Basic Business class tell you customers are right for return business if want those customers. NFL only want liberals to watch their game and protest against the Flag and country so liberal can judge how great the protest each team is doing against the Flag and then the game. Liberal can judge what team does the Best protest and play the game.

  • Mikey

    Kapernick’s original reason has been shown to be a false narrative. Others have perverted his reason to cover any other slight they may want to cry about. Since the President joined the discussion it has now become a battle cry for the Anti Trump Brigade. The SJWs that are players need to ante up and start working in the communities they are protesting for. OK boys start coughing up some of that huge money you are getting to help your community. Until we see the results in places like Baltimore and Chicago you can shut up and stand up.

  • Dieti

    No, everyone who is part of the NFL community does not have tremendous respect for country, our flag, our anthem and our military or we wouldn’t be at this point right now. Saying it doesn’t make it so Goodell.

  • Templar

    The NFL Tax Free Status SHOULD BE REVOKED!!

  • jlsharks1

    There is nothing to discuss.
    Stand up for your anthem.
    Celebrating how far American has come from the cotton picking days. You have more rights and get away with more because of your continuous whining how bad things are. And look around the stadium and see who pays your bill.
    Read an informative book (or listen to his commentary on the NFL), by a great man Burgess Owens “Liberalism”

  • Templar

    I have boycotted the NFL Players protest since KaperDICK first took a knee and Have NOT Missed the GAME at All. I burned All NFL Jerseys and have my entire family boycott advertisers who support the NFL. In fact we have enjoyed collage ball more than we ever enjoyed the NFL teams. The SAINTS can Kiss my Twitter.

  • Chase H

    The NFL is finished.

    • jlsharks1

      I hope so Chase the movement must take a stance.
      We The People must stand united and make America great again (and that is from a legal foreigner).

  • FoolIggy

    THEN SHOW IT you elitist rich spoiled narcissistic crybabies!

    “Everyone who is part of our NFL community has a tremendous respect for our country, our flag, our anthem and our military,….”

    Did you ever hear the term: ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS!

    Goodell should be FIRED, team owners should be fined, and players should be TERMINATED for not being part of “EVERYONE WHO IS PART OF OUR NFL!”

    BOYCOTT THE NFL, its management, its owners, its players, and the sponsors! Disrespecting the very country that made you all RICH is WRONG, especially when you do NOT recognize some gave their tomorrows so you could have your today’s!

  • Comanche457

    Sure, they are entitled to protest and they are entitled to the consequences too. Because I am an American Veteran there will be some.

  • Johnnytruth455

    As a long time die hard fan. I could not care less about the game. It is a freaking joke. I don’t care what they do. I have been enjoying my Sundays much more now that I don’t want the dirt bags at all.

  • Widl Man

    F the NFLPA…they’re a bunch of idiots that think they are more powerful than their employers…Without the NFL owners, there would be no NFL. It is a business not a political factions. Dumbasses in the NFLPA and in the Goodell office.

  • Joe navy 76

    this is sad it all started when a dumb jock wanted to get in the pants of his new girlfriend. goodby NFL.

  • AtomicFury

    Yeah…that’ll show ’em who’s the boss…

  • CCTexas

    If that happened these children could not play football. They would be too busy crying on the sidelines because someone actually blocked their receiver running down field, or someone actually knocked their defensive line man down. Football has become too girlie and too socialist for me. I went out a year ago and am so glad I did. Saved a ton on money.

    • AtomicFury

      I haven’t supported the Eagles since Lurie bought them. This issue just cemented my abandoning them and the league. Now I’m a Toronto Argonauts fan from afar (and will take a few years to get used to 3-down football).

      • CCTexas

        Three down football. Maybe I should take a look.

  • 808Americans


    Gratz to the Vegas Golden Knights!

    Vegas Strong!

  • Larry Blair

    It’s way to late for this garbage. I will never watch another game and haven’t for a year and a half. I might watch again if everyone that kneeled and the nfl apologizes to the country and admit they were wrong.

  • bugballou

    Please, No Flag Flying. No Anthem Singing. I pray that no one goes postal.

  • Dell Wilber

    Eff ’em. And, take away their “non-profit” status…

  • Bud

    What is there to discuss? League rules ALREADY require the players to stand, respectfully, during the playing of the anthem.

    • Another Deplorable

      It’s the way liberals always push their agenda forward. They do something wrong morally, ethically, or legally, that is in the way of their agenda, and then they want to negotiate with what they have illegally seized. Its like a crook coming in and robbing my home. When he’s caught, the judge and the crook’s lawyer sit down and negotiate how much of my stuff he can keep.

      • 808Americans

        Agree ^^

      • CCTexas

        Very good and very true.

  • All American

    The President didn’t exacerbate it he brought it to the forefront. We stopped watching the NFL when they started raising fists and kneeling while Our National Anthem was sang at the opening. Actually we don’t care if they stand on their feet or their hands, we will never watch another game nor will we support any of their sponsors!

    • Cesar Figueroa

      and can please someone tell me how disgracing the flag has anything to do with a Cop shooting a criminal, like they say the only people that hate Cops are criminals or friends and family members of criminals, like Michael browns mom crying they killed my little criminal, the NFL players need to go into the streets and help get the illegal guns out of the neighborhoods, as long as the criminal has a gun the Police will have itchy trigger fingers,
      always remember if there is NO CRIME being committed the police will not show up, and BAM no freaking shooting takes place,
      last, be respectful when a Cop pulls you over put your hands on the upper left steering wheel, and talk to the Police officer, you will be surprised by how much tension is released, get your ticket or warning and go on your marry way, unless you are committing a crime, then you brought whatever happens on yourself. and DON’T BLAME AMERICA or the FLAG.

      • All American

        It is the wrong arena. Inappropriate and Un-American⬇️

      • All American

        I agree with you

  • Scott

    Smith DeMaurice is a Democratic and his understanding respecting the Flag, Anthem and Country is base on law school where he was taught to be anti Country and be a liberal Marxist so he makes a great Marxist and Democratic. He was trained to think legal and he is part of the legal industry that do not care about Patriotism for money and big government is what they want more laws to make money. Law schools DO NOT TEACH Patriotism for the Constitution in fact they do not even teach it because there is NO MONEY to be made.

    He thinks and acts like lawyer that has NO respect or understanding what it means to be Patriotic and hold deep feeling of patriotism for this country and its values. He is out for the money and He support their feeling at any cost to to Business and Fans feelings. He is liberal he is Democrat he is liberal Lawyer you cannot get any more distance from feeling for the Constitution and the effect of NOT respecting the Flag and Anthem and country then you have FANS that hold those feelings and they are being disrespected. He speaks like a lawyer so he will say anything that support his players disrespect for the Flag. He will say anything to distract from reality that is what a GOOD lawyer does to win his case. He wants to disapprove the FANS and say players are RIGHT and Fans or WRONG. So the Custom for Football is wrong and players employees are right and Customer just has to deal with it.

    One player even SAID Fans if the do not like the protest stop watching them. When the players want Fans to stop being a FootBall fan they have no ideas about business they are in and making the money that are doing.

    Any business need people to come to the Business but employees are insulting the Fans and people are turning way from the business because of disrespect for Flag, Country and FANS but these players have NO idea about their source of income and the future of the Business NFL is not looking good all because these Players FEEL something so what if it destroys the Business it fine with them. I really hope they are happy destroying football as top national sport but they are Democrats and that is what Democrats do best destroy.

    • All American

      My dad had a saying
      ” opinions are like a holes, everybody has one”
      They are way overpaid and we are way overcharged. I don’t know anyone that is or will ever support the NFL again!

      • Yankton

        My dad added one more line.
        “opinions are like a holes, everybody has one, not every body airs them out in public”

        • All American

          I like it👍🏻

        • Mikey

          One more line to add…. and they all stink.

  • Jim

    The only way out for the NFL is to pay up $$$ to start some SJW effort that the players buy, and also pay themselves, into. Then maybe the players will follow and not act up during the anthem. Problem is, the cat is already out of the bag and I will never watch NFL again. And will fight against any use of taxpayer money for any NFL effort.

    • All American

      Pretty soon they may have to look for a real job.

    • Bud

      What the players are doing IS ALREADY AGAINST THE RULES.

    • Songbird

      Yes getting sick of excessive taxes to build their billion dollar stadiums then still get privilege of having to pay hundreds more to what, watch them disrespect most of their fans and their Country that gave them everything! Never Ever Again..And take your Satanic Half- Time show and shove it where the sun don’t shine. We wash our hands of #NFLburn and will Never go back. United We S.T.A.N.D. 🇺🇸

  • Ipickedaside

    When Kapercrap started it … I was done with the NFL, I don’t miss it. They can try and twist it all they want. All they care about is money that’s the only reason they are back tracking it’s because they are losing revenue. Those kneelers are ungrateful, uneducated, unAmerican cucks. Come on you ever heard half these retards talk. ….yeah right you really graduated college. I call B.S. the sports system paid for some of those supposed degrees. To make great entertainers. …well now they are SJW’S disrespecting the very country that gave them everything. Screw em boycott the NFL. You don’t have a platform for social change you’re at work. hopefully you’ll be able to fall back on your degree when the NFL can’t pay you anymore. LMAO

    • All American

      Well stated👍🏻

    • 808Americans

      Who’s going to help them pay for their tattoos if they get fired?

      Better yet; Who is going to hire a person with more ink on them then a newspaper.

      I have just never understood tattoos and the need for so many.
      Admittedly, that’s on me.

      • Chase H

        I agree, seeing otherwise beautiful women then seeing an ugly tattoo on her shoulder or arm, well I just don’t get it.

        • 808Americans

          Me either.

    • jeff

      Touche, well written and very well stated.

      • Ipickedaside

        Thanks Jeff!

  • PGCDan

    I wish I could link to the facts, but that’s not what started it. Cap started the protest because of police brutality and said that America itself was racist. These people are ignorant and are pandering to try and stop the bloodletting of their revenue. That’s the only reason. What a bunch of worthless human beings.

    • All American

      They are.

    • Bud

      What does professional football have to do with alleged “police brutality” or someone’s alleged “racism”? The NFL has no power over local police forces or any individual’s or group’s feelings toward blacks.

      • PGCDan

        That’s my point.

      • Chase H

        No, but local police departments have power over the NFL and I believe it is time that they stop showing up to work NFL games

    • Wolfrem

      Actually, the first game he sat on the bench pouting because he was benched for the game. When the media asked him about it, it was an opportunity to be exploited. Apparently his radical girlfriend gave him the idea of the police brutality protest.
      And then his mother scolded him for disgracing himself and the family.

      • PGCDan

        Oh, I remember. Unfortunately. I’m specifically talking about when he started going on air with the media and explaining why he was doing it.