Requested about gamers who didn’t stand for the nationwide anthem earlier than preseason video games, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stated Monday that whereas the enjoying of the anthem is a particular second to him, “we even have to know the opposite aspect.”
Goodell made the feedback at College of Phoenix Stadium throughout a forty five-minute query-and-reply interval with Arizona Cardinals membership seat holders. One season ticket-holder, Bruce Olson, requested the commissioner whether or not gamers have been going to proceed to protest through the anthem and if something could possibly be completed about it.
“It is a type of issues the place I feel we’ve got to know that there are people who have totally different viewpoints,” Goodell stated. “The nationwide anthem is a particular second to me. It is a level of satisfaction. However we even have to know the opposite aspect, that folks do have rights and we need to respect these.”
Seattle Seahawks defensive finish Michael Bennett sat on the visiting bench through the anthem earlier than the preseason opener towards the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, a choice he made earlier than weekend protests by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia. Bennett has stated that the goal of his protest is to make individuals uncomfortable. Within the course of, he hopes to spur larger communication, understanding and involvement throughout racial, gender and socio-financial strains.
Oakland Raiders operating again Marshawn Lynch sat on a cooler through the anthem Saturday night time on the sector at College of Phoenix Stadium. Los Angeles Rams defensive finish Robert Quinn raised a primary earlier than his staff’s recreation.
The truth that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick continues to be in search of a workforce to play for after his kneel-down protests final season can also be nonetheless a scorching matter.
Goodell, with out mentioning any of the gamers, stated different gamers are taking the platform they’ve into native communities to create dialogue towards constructive change.
“Protest to progress is what I name it, and all of us have to acknowledge that if we need to see change, let’s exit and attempt to make that change occur in a peaceable and essential method,” Goodell stated.
Olson, who described himself as a season-ticket holder “since Day 1,” stated the commissioner “beat across the bush” on the difficulty. He stated he’d like Goodell to take a harder stance.
“The factor is, all he (Lynch) has to do is rise up for 2 minutes and he can nonetheless have no matter beliefs he needs. Go together with what seems good for the sport and to the individuals,” Olson stated. “He (Goodell) makes guidelines and, ‘You do that, you do this,’ why cannot he simply say ‘You get up. You possibly can consider what you need or do what you need. Simply rise up like a person.'”
Goodell additionally addressed different points:
— On beginning the season with a serious star suspended, as is the case with Cowboys operating again Ezekiel Elliott, who’s out for six video games after the league investigated accusations of home violence towards him: “You by no means wish to see that occur. That is not one thing good. These issues are dictated by circumstances. We do every little thing we will to ensure we’re implementing our insurance policies and holding the requirements to the very best degree. That is an unlucky a part of that, however that is what you do.”
— On the rule change that may permit gamers extra freedom to rejoice massive performs: “They (gamers) have been a driving drive behind our modifications within the celebration rule. They have been very impactful in the best way we take into consideration totally different points of our recreation and our expertise in what we have to do.”
— On concussions, when a fan requested him about security for his 10-yr-previous son: “An important factor is to get the suitable details, and we have put all our details on the market. We would like a larger consciousness. . The truth is these days we’re a lot smarter concerning the mind and accidents, and we have now a lot additional to go.”