Giants' John Mara: Most fans demand players stand for national anthem

Ross Houston
October 19, 2017

Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league believes "everyone should stand" when the anthem is played. "I don't have any reaction to that".

After the National Football League kneeling protests came to a pinnacle in week three of the 2017 NFL season, it's only natural the NBA and its players began to voice their own opinions on the matter as the regular season approaches. "I think the better policy going forward is to try to have dialogue with them and try to show them that we're willing to work with them on some of these issues that all of us are concerned about".

"Implying that players give up their right to free speech when they put on a uniform may well strike a responsive chord among many in Mr. Trump's base", the editorial said, before going on to zing "Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who said players should keep their mouths shut in the workplace". And while Mara has said he would like the players to stand for the national anthem, the team won't punish any player that kneels. Labeling those who participate in the demonstrations as a "son of a b*tch", Trump even went as far as to call on team owners to fire the players who take a knee during the ceremony. "We spent today talking about the issues that players have been trying to bring attention to - issues to make our communities better. that was the entire focus of today". One protester said to Dallas Cowboy owner Jerry Jones, "Look at the videos of police officers getting away with murder".

Mara, learning that Trump had made more comments surrounding the protests during the national anthem, told Bob Glauber of Newsday that he was shocked.

National Football League owners arrived in NY for two days of meetings this week with a huge problem. The big difference now, whatever the head count was at the meeting, that many more players, I now know their viewpoint, and they know us. It's also an important part of our game. "Stand for the National Anthem". Sponsors and broadcast partners are said to be nervous and want the NFL to find a way to extricate itself from such a heated national political debate.

President Trump seems somewhat shaky on the first amendment this week; he also pondered aloud whether media networks' licenses should be revoked, causing Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) to ask, "Are you tonight recanting of the oath you took on January 20th to preserve, protect, and defend the First Amendment?" But general manager Chris Ballard told reporters Wednesday that trainers and doctors shut down Luck after he received a cortisone shot. I'm not saying the injuries don't happen in basketball but you don't see serious head injuries that impact a person later on in life.

"I understand the way they feel about these issues", Goodell said Wednesday. So sorry, Donald, you don't get to impose your will on people by making mean tweets about them.

Goodell said the current number of protesting players is down to about a half-dozen. We agreed that these are common issues and pledged to meet again to continue this work together.

DRAFT: The 2018 draft will be held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, home of the Dallas Cowboys.

So am I glad that Goodell isn't advocating for unilateral punishment for players? Yes.

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