NFL players, owners hold 'constructive' talks on issues
NEW YORK (AP) — NFL players and owners met today to discuss social issues, a session Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross called "constructive" and Colts defensive back Darius Butler termed "positive."
A group of 11 owners and more than a dozen players met at the league's headquarters. Among the topics discussed was enhancing the players' platforms for speaking out on social issues.
"We heard what they had to say and they heard us," Ross said. "It's open talks and that's a good thing."
Ross said the NFL's policy on the national anthem "did not come up." That policy states the players "should" stand for the anthem, and some have suggested the league would seek to change that to "must" stand. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a memo to the teams last week the NFL prefers for players to stand during "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Butler, who played Monday night in Nashville before attending the meeting hours later, said both sides are headed in the right direction. He said the players delivered "our perspective. Obviously it's a different perspective. I think that's the most important thing when it comes to these issues is perspective and respecting everyone's rights regardless of how they feel."
The players' union and the league issued a joint statement just before the annual fall owners meetings began.
"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," the statement said. "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."