Instead, he said, the team owners generally agreed it was important to listen to players' concerns. "I can't deal with hypotheticals", Goodell said. "We feel a real responsibility to our country, to our communities, so we're working through ways to really have long lasting, real change".
"I think our clubs all see this the same way - we want our players to stand, we're going to encourage them to stand and we're going to continue to work on these issues in the community", Goodell told reporters after meeting with team owners at the Fall League Meeting in NY.
United States President Donald Trump has accused the NFL of showing "total disrespect" for the United States by not forcing players to stand during the national anthem. He mentioned criminal justice reform, bail reform, and mandatory minimum sentences among the reasons why players knelt, but did not bring up police brutality.
Goodell and owners said the league is focused on supporting players' community activism efforts.
"There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder", he said.
Mr. Goodell said that the National Football League plans to hold another meeting with owners and players in about two weeks.
The concept of kneeling or sitting during the Star-Spangled Banner originated last pre-season when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, as a way to highlight perceived racial injustice, and became more commonplace after Trump said in September that any player kneeling should be "fired". Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said any player who "disrespects the flag" will not play.
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In a joint-statement released last week by the NFL and NFLPA, both the league and union stated there have been no changes to the current policy regarding the national anthem. According to a report, the owners were considering a rule that would force all players to stand while the anthem plays during their meetings this week.
York said owners are focused on helping players use their platforms to advance their message. "The players we met with today were deeply emotional and knowledgeable about the issues they're passionate about".
More players have begun kneeling since Trump criticized the practice, and some sympathetic teammates have linked arms with the kneelers while standing themselves.
It hailed "productive" talks but no concrete steps to address the issue were announced.
The CBA prohibits owners from conspiring against a player and blackballing them from employment, but it also gives owners great protection.
Day 2 of the NFL Commissioner's meetings with owners and players will continue Wednesday and another press briefing will be held.
"This was the first time we have gotten the chance to sit down in front of ownership", Philadelphia Eagles defensive captain Malcolm Jenkins said.