Goodell Met Tuesday With Owners, Players On Anthem Protests

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell held a round-table meeting with roughly 25 owners, league executives and players Tuesday night to discuss the national anthem demonstrations.

Giants linebacker Jonathan Casillas said the summit at the league’s headquarters in Manhattan lasted roughly two hours and was attended by several of the NFL’s most prominent owners, including John Mara of the Giants, Robert Kraft of the Patriots and Art Rooney II of the Steelers. NFL executive vice president Troy Vincent also attended along with eight players from five teams.

MORE: Trump’s Still Criticizing NFL Owners Over Players Who Kneel

Casillas said the group talked about what to do to move forward and how to approach the “whole kneeling situation.”

jaguars national anthem

Jacksonville Jaguars players protest during the national anthem on Sept. 25, 2017, at Wembley Stadium in London. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

“It was a whole bunch of opinions shared,” Casillas said. “There was nothing we decided we’re going to do collectively. I think it was a very conducive meeting.”

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the gathering was one of the many conversations that have happened this week within the NFL.

“The commissioner believed with all the owners here for committee meetings it was important to bring in some players and hear directly from them,” McCarthy said in responding to an email from The Associated Press. “While the conversations will remain private, they were very informative and instructive.”

MORE: Billick On WFAN: Teams Should Find Unified Ways To Address Anthem Issue

President Donald Trump has spent days attacking players who kneel during the anthem while protesting racial injustice. He insists the NFL should require players to stand. Responding to Trump, hundreds more players have been sitting, kneeling, locking arms or remaining in locker rooms.

Casillas said Mara met with a select group of Giants on Wednesday and asked them to stand for the national anthem but added that he will support any players who choose not to kneel.

“Honestly, as a player in this league, with everything that’s going on, you can’t really ask for more than that,” Casillas said.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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