NFL commissioner: League could consider rule on anthem protests in offseason

NFL commissioner: League could consider rule on anthem protests in offseason
© Greg Nash

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Wednesday left open the possibility that the league could implement a rule in the offseason requiring players to stand for the national anthem.

"I don’t know what we’ll consider in the offseason," Goodell said at a press conference, according to CBS Boston. "We’re still trying to get through the Super Bowl."

Goodell's remarks came after Trump alluded to the debate over whether professional athletes should be required to stand for the anthem in his State of the Union address on Tuesday night.

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The president ignited a feud with the NFL in September, after he called on team owners to fire players who kneel in protest during the "Star-Spangled Banner." Trump has said that such demonstrations are disrespectful and that the NFL should pass a rule requiring players to stand during the anthem.

Goodell said last year that the league believes that players should, in fact, stand for the anthem, but noted that there were no plans to force them to do so.

The sideline demonstrations emerged in 2016 with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who kneeled during the national anthem to protest racial inequality and police misconduct. Those protests quickly spread throughout the league.

The NFL reportedly considered a policy late last year keeping players in the locker rooms during the national anthem. Trump, however, blasted that proposal, saying it was "almost as bad as kneeling."