Colin Kaepernick not invited to annual owners and NFLPA meeting

Patrick Smith  Getty Images

Patrick Smith Getty Images

"This agreement like it or not, the parties bargained for it, says that 14 or more teams can't conspire to keep a player out of the league", Balitis says.

"We all feel very strongly about our country and our pride, and we're going to continue to do that", Goodell said. "We should also figure out why people are kneeling so we can have an understanding and an appreciation for what's happening in those communities that they're coming from".

On Tuesday in NY, a group including 11 National Football League owners and 13 players met, according to a joint statement, to discuss social change and inequality.

The national anthem controversy escalated after Trump spoke at September 22 campaign rally in Alabama and said NFL owners should fire anyone who refuses to stand during the song.

Colin Kaepernick, the first player to begin protesting the national anthem last season, mentioned police brutality specifically to in 2016 when asked why he knelt.

"[Our discussions] reflected our commitment to work together with our players on issues of social justice", Goodell said. The short story is this: NFL owners and players got together and decided now was not a time to make any specific rules targeting the national anthem, much to the dismay of President Donald Trump.

In contrast to Trump, who has scorned any player who protests as a "son of a bitch", Goodell praised the athletes as political activists trying to improve their communities. "They are not doing this to be disrespectful to the flag". Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has said his team would bench any player who protests during the anthem and thereby, in Jones's view, shows disrespect to the American flag. "We need to be above petty attacks from anybody, because racial and socioeconomic inequality have existed in this country for too long". "What we're trying to do is deal with the underlying issue and understand what it is they're protesting". "That's where our hope is, and we hope over time, few players will kneel".

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

Jennings said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell unveiled a plan for the league to handle social issues in the future, but he did not provide specifics. "He's said from day one that this is about giving rise to social injustice and focusing on social injustice", Geragos said in an interview Wednesday morning with Good Morning America anchor Michael Strahan.

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