The trend of protesting political and social causes during national anthem first started last season, when then San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began taking a knee while the song played. Other popular players, such as Michael Bennett and Marshawn Lynch, have announced they would do the same this year.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell commented on this hot topic at an Arizona Cardinals fan forum, and he was pretty clear: he does not encourage players to protest the national anthem. Here's what he said, as reported by NFL Network's James Palmer:
"The national anthem is a special moment to me. It's a point of pride. That is a really important moment. But we also have to understand the other side that people do have rights and we want to respect those."
He then gave a few examples of how some players had a positive impact in their community in a more "peaceful and important way":
"We all have to recognize that people want to see change, let's go out and try to make that change happen in a peaceful and important way. And we've seen our players lead that. We saw that in Denver with Brandon Marshall. We saw it with Doug Baldwin in Seattle. They went out and did some really great things in the community to affect change in a positive way. That's what we want to see our players do and I think that's a positive thing."
Source: Twitter · Photo Credit: Keystone Press