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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a shockwave through the world of sports on Tuesday that nobody saw coming.

Goodell, who previously remained silent after 200 NFL players took a knee, shifted gears with a powerful statement.

Writing in a memo to team owners and executives, he said, in part, “Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem. It is an important moment in our game. We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us. We also care deeply about our players and respect their opinions and concerns about critical social issues."

Goodell continued, “The controversy over the Anthem is a barrier to having honest conversations and making real progress on the underlying issues. We need to move past this controversy, and we want to do that together with our players.”

Critics of Goodell decided to the use the moment as an opportunity to offer their own explanation. From where they sit, it's a race issue, and Goodell is only obeying the demands of white NFL owners.

The head-turning reactions speak for themselves:

So much for tolerance of a different opinion. While some might have hoped that the anthem protests were going to end, there appears to be a big voice to want it to continue. I guess we will see what happens come Sunday.

Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR.

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