The NFL and Commissioner ROGER GOODELL are positioning themselves to find a way to "move on" from the National Anthem protests.
Goodell fired off a letter to all 32 teams yesterday, where he said, quote, "The current dispute . . . is threatening to erode the unifying power of our game, and is now dividing us, and our players, from many fans across the country."
Goodell said they've been listening to their players, and the "critical social issues" that are so important to them. And they WANT to support their players . . . but they also believe that EVERYONE should stand for the National Anthem.
He said he's found that the controversy is so divisive that it's a, quote, "barrier to having honest conversations and making real progress on the underlying issues."
The owners are having their annual fall meeting next week, and Goodell wants them to discuss an unknown "plan," which involves giving players a "platform" to make their voices heard, while making the league appear more unified.
He doesn't say it directly, but the implication is that a willing agreement would keep them from having to make an actual RULE requiring players to stand for the Anthem.
For now, the rules just say that players "SHOULD" stand . . . but there's no hard-and-fast rule. Obviously, this looks like an uphill battle.
The heart of the protests isn't about the anthem or the flag . . . it's about speaking up for racial inequality, especially when it comes to violence from law enforcement.
That complicates things . . . because it's hard to determine what the protesters would want in exchange for standing, since there's no switch you can flip to stop racial prejudice on the streets.
For what it's worth, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones thinks he can solve the problem by threatening to bench anyone who doesn't stand for the Anthem.
None of his players have tested him yet . . . but the NAACP is already calling that unconstitutional. And the players' union would probably also fight it.
Image courtesy of dailymail.co.uk