This week, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell held a series of press conferences to attempt to stop the bleeding from the outcry over mass national anthem protests, which have gripped the NFL. The league has been reeling since the protests started with vigor over the last month. During the multiday press event, Goodell tried to tamp down the outrage, declaring the NFL believes all players should stand for the anthem, but he stopped short on disciplining the players who do so.
Goodell also said there were only “six or seven” players protesting (emphasis added):
“Again, we believe that our player should stand for the national anthem. That’s an important part of our game and our moment, and we believe in that. I think we also have to keep focus on this – we have about six or seven players that are involved with this protest at this point. What we try to do is deal with the underlying issue and understand what it is that they’re protesting and try to address that matter.”
Goodell said later that “We’re going to encourage our players to stand.”
The comment that only “six or seven players” were involved in the protest struck many as curious. Especially since many news sites had the number of players protesting in the hundreds. Some weeks, entire teams took a knee for the anthem.
Goodell is welcome to observe these photos:Matthew Lewis/Getty Images Christian Petersen/Getty Images Clive Rose/Getty Images Christian Petersen/Getty Images Henry Browne/Getty Images Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images Alex Pantling/Getty Images
Also, three players sat out the anthem JUST on Thursday night:Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Ya got a ways to go, NFL.