PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a letter on Tuesday to all teams. It was originally interpreted as Goodell wanting players to stand for the anthem.
“I don’t think guys are gonna like it,” Gerald McCoy of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers said on Adam Schefter’s Know Them From Adam podcast via ESPN.com, when asked about the possible reaction from players if they are forced to stand for the anthem.
“I think it’s gonna be an uproar if that is to happen because you’re basically taking away a constitutional right to freedom of speech. If guys wanna have a, I guess you would call it a peaceful protest, I don’t think it’s right to take that away.”
President Trump, who previously said NFL owners should “fire” players who do not stand during the anthem, tweeted this in response to Goodell’s letter.
However, later on Wednesday, the NFL clarified Goodell’s position saying, “Commentary this morning about the Commissioner’s position on the Anthem is not accurate.” The NFL says these issues will be discussed at the owners meeting next week.
Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, along with teammates Torrey Smith and Chris Long, has been at the forefront of dealing with social and racial injustices. Jenkins has been raising his fist during the anthem since last season.