MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The NFL plans to take on the issue of players protesting during the anthem. News of an owners meeting about the controversy came out as Commissioner Roger Goodell paid a visit to South Florida.
The silent protests by NFL players against racial injustice during the national anthem have, of late, garnered as much attention as the games themselves.
And now, the NFL commissioner is weighing in.
In a memo to team owners, Goodell said, “The NFL believes players should stand for the anthem… and that the league must move on from this controversy that has been so deeply divisive.”
The White House reacted Tuesday.
“I think we would certainly support the NFL coming out and asking players to stand just as the president has done,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.
Goodell said the league will find ways to be proactive in addressing players’ concerns about societal problems.
A spokesman for the NFL said the issue will be front and center at a meeting of team owners next week.
Goodell happened to be in South Florida Tuesday, but not to answer questions about the protests.
Video of Goodell’s visit to the North Miami Police Department was shot by the Miami Dolphins. The event was closed to the press.
He was taking part in a relatively new program the Dolphins started with law enforcement. It’s called “RISE” and gives players and officers the opportunity to interact with the community.
According to the Dolphins, they had a discussion on community policing, followed by a ride-along.
The group traveled to North Miami Middle School and Arch Creek Elementary School to visit with kids and pass out football trading cards.
On Sunday, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said that he now wants players to stand during the anthem.
Yesterday, Dolphins head coach Adam Gase said that he decided the team’s new policy is that any player on the field would be required to stand during the anthem, otherwise they should stay in the tunnel.
Jerry Jones, who owns the Dallas Cowboys, has taken the hardest line on the anthem protests. He is telling his players to stand or be benched.