NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to teams on Tuesday explaining that a new rule change may require players to stand for the national anthem. "The controversy over the anthem is a barrier to having honest conversations and making real progress on the underlying issues,” Goodell writes in the letter, which was obtained by ESPN.
“We need to move past this controversy, and we want to do that together with our players." The NFL's current anthem policy states that players "should" stand for the anthem, but it stops short of requiring it. The issue will be discussed, and likely acted upon, during the NFL's fall meetings on October 17 and 18. President Donald Trump has called on NFL owners to fire players who do not stand for the anthem, saying their protest "disrespects the flag" and the country.