NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell may signal a penalty on players who disrespect the flag and national anthem.
Goodell sent a letter to all 32 NFL teams on Tuesday, Oct. 10 saying the league needs to move on, Business Insider reports.
“Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem,” Goodell wrote. “It is an important moment in our game. We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us.”
The topic will be discussed at a league meeting next week. Owners may allow players to give input, but they can make a decision without the union’s approval, the Daily Mail reports.
The NFL may have already quietly changed its national anthem policy to allow teams to directly players instead of relying on the league to do so, the Daily Mail quotes ESPN reporter Chris Mortensen as saying.
The policy now reads, “'[Players’ f]ailure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.’”
Goodell does, however, plan to provide players a “platform,” Business Insider reports.
“This would include such elements as an in-season platform to promote the work of our players on these core issues, and that will help to promote positive change in our country. We want to ensure that any work at the league level is consistent with the work that each club is doing in its own community, and that we dedicate a platform that can enable these initiatives to succeed.”
Goodell does not define what a platform would involve.
The developments come on the heels of President Trump questioning whether the NFL should receive tax breaks in light of the national anthem protests, as reported by The Hill. The NFL in 2015 agreed to give up the tax-exempt status for its league office.