PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — All eyes will be on the much anticipated Philadelphia Eagles game against the Carolina Panthers during Thursday Night Football, but fans will also be taking note of what happens before any plays are called on the field.
The league has been embroiled in a national anthem controversy that has been taking center stage.
“I know our fans are focused on football as well as they should be and we to get that focus on football,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said.
NFL owners will meet in New York next week with the NFL Players Union to discuss the anthem issue. An issue that began last year with then San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who started kneeling during the anthem to call attention to social injustices in the community.
President Donald Trump recently weighed in on the anthem issue, suggesting the NFL fire players who kneel.
“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.
But Goodell told the NFL Network there’s been no official policy change.
“What we’ve had is unprecedented dialogue over the last year with our players, owners and community leaders,” he said.
Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, who is an avid Eagles fan, says the league should steer clear of changing its policy.
“Doing it at this point, just because the president and vice president made it a big deal, they look like a bunch of wusses,” he said.
In recent days, more owners have come out against the protests, even threatening to bench players.
However, the NFL Players Association has backed the protests, saying players are exercising their constitutional rights.
All of this will be discussed at the owners meeting next week.