But, after a meeting Tuesday with union representatives and players, the league did promise to help support some of the causes targeted by the protesting players, including reform of the criminal justice system.
In a tweet on Wednesday, the USA president upped the ante in his fight with the NFL players kneeling down during the national anthem to decry police brutality against minorities, particularly African Americans in the United States.
It's been very clear on President Donald Trump's take on athletes kneeling during the national nnthem and on Thursday, he took another step to making sure everyone stands. It did not indicate how many signatures had been received.
".@NFL: Too much talk, not enough action". The statement also stressed that "everyone who is part of our National Football League community has a tremendous respect for our country, our flag, our anthem and our military". "But they also understand how it's being interpreted".More news: Russian Federation agrees to move Iran, Hezbollah forces away from Israeli border
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Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who first popularised the gesture a year ago, said he settled on kneeling as a form of protest because it is widely seen as a gesture of respect.
"Again, we believe that our player should stand for the national anthem". Especially since many news sites had the number of players protesting in the hundreds.
Players across the league doubled down by kneeling, locking arms, and sometimes sitting for the anthem after the president called on owners to fire players who did so.
"I think our clubs all see this the same way - we want our players to stand, we're going to encourage them to stand and we're going to continue to work on these issues in the community", Goodell said Wednesday.