The NFL thinks that all of its football players should stand -- rather than sitting, kneeling, or staying in the locker room -- for the national anthem, and they will soon discuss whether or not to force players to do so, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Oct. 10. Following that announcement, on Wednesday morning, President Trump prased the NFL commissioner for standing up for the flag.
"Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the national anthem," Goodell said in a written statement to NFL club presidents and chief executives, according to The Washington Post. "It is an important moment in our game. We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us."
He went on to say that during the week of Oct. 16, the NFL higher-ups plan to get together in New York and have "a full and open discussion" regarding players not standing.
"Everyone involved in the game needs to come together on a path forward to continue to be a force for good within our communities, protect the game, and preserve our relationship with fans throughout the country," Goodell wrote. "The NFL is at its best when we ourselves are unified. In that spirit, let's resolve that next week we will meet this challenge in a unified and positive way."
Going forward, the league is reportedly looking to "promote the work of players" on social issues in order to "promote positive change" across the nation, said Goodell, who has been speaking with owners and players about possible solutions.
One group of players that included Malcolm Jenkins, Anquan Boldin, Michael Bennett and Torrey Smith, asked that the league officially supports players' activism in their communities.
"We also care deeply about our players and respect their opinions and concerns about critical social issues," reads Goodell's letter. "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."
Despite the fact that the decision to force players to stand hasn't actually been made yet, President Trump took to Twitter on Wednesday morning to praise the commissioner for taking a stand.
"It is about time that Roger Goodell of the NFL is finally demanding that all players STAND for our great National Anthem-RESPECT OUR COUNTRY," Trump tweeted.
Former San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick started sitting for the game-opening song in August 2016 to protest police brutality toward people of color, notes Snopes. After meeting with former Green Beret and Seattle Seahawks player Nate Boyer, Kaepernick decided instead to take a knee, as soldiers do at a fellow soldier's grave.
President Donald Trump and his administration have condemned the protests time and again, notes The Post. Vice President Mike Pence walked out of a football game in Indiana when players kneeled on Oct. 8, and Trump has been calling to change tax laws in order to make the NFL pay higher rates for "disrespecting our Anthem, Flag and Country."
"We would support the NFL coming out and asking players to stand, as the president has done," said White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders "We're glad to see NFL taking positive steps in that direction."