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NFL: No mandate for players to stand during national anthem

The NFL has no plans to mandate players stand for the national anthem, a league spokesman told Wednesday.

The spokesman went on to say "commentary this morning about the Commissioner's position on the Anthem is not accurate. The NFL is doing the hard work of trying to move from protest to progress, working to bring people together."

"Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem," Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote in a memo to all 32 teams Tuesday. "It is an important moment in our game. We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us. We also care deeply about our players and respect their opinions and concerns about critical social issues. The controversy over the Anthem is a barrier to having honest conversations and making real progress on the underlying issues. We need to move past this controversy, and we want to do that together with our players."

Players from around the league are expected to join NFL owners next week in New York to discuss plans to "promote the work of our players on these core issues, and that will help promote positive change in our country," according to Goodell's memo.

In a joint statement released by the NFL and NFL Players Association on Wednesday, both the league and union stated there have been no changes to the current policy regarding the national anthem:

"Commissioner Roger Goodell reached out to NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith today and both he and player leadership will attend the League meetings next week. There has been no change in the current policy regarding the anthem. The agenda will be a continuation of how to make progress on the important social issues that players have vocalized. Everyone who is part of our NFL community has a tremendous respect for our country, our flag, our anthem and our military, and we are coming together to deal with these issues in a civil and constructive way."

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