NFL, NFLPA: 'No change in the current policy regarding the anthem'

Thursday, 12 October 2017, 10:31:00 PM. DeMaurice Smith and players to attend owners' meeting next week in New York.

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DeMaurice Smith, right, will join Roger Goodell and NFL owners at next week’s meetings in New York. (AP)

DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFL Players Association, will attend next week’s owners’ meeting in New York along with players, the league and union announced in a joint statement Wednesday in which they pledged to work cooperatively to address the issue of players’ protests during 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,” the statement said. “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.”

Owners are scheduled to meet Tuesday and Wednesday in New York.

The owners appear likely to consider the possibility during the meeting of requiring players to stand for the anthem. In a letter to NFL teams Tuesday, Goodell wrote: “Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the national anthem.”

The league has been under pressure from President Trump to compel players to stand for the anthem rather than allow players to kneel in protest.

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