Goodell, union, players to meet on social issues and anthem


NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, owners of each team, representatives of the players' union and players themselves will meet Tuesday to discuss ways to "move from protest to progress."

Among the topics will be enhancing their platforms for speaking out on social issues, and the league's policy that suggests but does not mandate players standing for the national anthem.

There is a quiet mandate, though, for those discussions: figuring out how to get the attention back on those social issues, not how they are being publicized.

And getting the attention back on football.

"We are proud to be able to work with our players to highlight these issues to really put focus on the issues and how the game and the NFL and our players bring communities together when we are divided," NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart said.

Goodell emphasized the need for productive dialogue among the owners and players when he sent a memo to the teams last week. He also invited players' union chief DeMaurice Smith and a group of players to attend the regularly scheduled meetings.

What are they likely to discuss before the owners get back to their usual October league business?

For one, demonstrations during the anthem will be a high-priority topic. Goodell has noted that the NFL will have a plan ready to present to the players regarding the anthem.

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