Chargers' Okung Issues call to action for NFL players

Chargers' Okung Issues call to action for NFL players

The commissioner said that while he respected the players and their concerns, the protests are a "barrier to having honest conversations and making real progress on the underlying issues".

After weeks of boasting one of the largest groups of protesting players during the national anthem, only six active members of the San Francisco 49ers, and one inactive player, took a knee on Sunday before facing the Washington Redskins.

"Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem", he wrote. Okung wants players to put aside their on-field differences and come together to find a way to represent themselves as NFL players rather than players of individual teams.

As the NFL considers implementing a rule that would require all players to stand for the anthem, owners will meet next week in New York to discuss the protests. President Donald Trump tweeted that he had told Pence to exit if a protest occurred, costing the public some $90,000 to prove a political point.

However, the sources maintained that there is no expectation that the NFL would issue an ultimatum or mandate on the matter, though it's quite possible the league could re-affirm the existing language in the gameday manual.

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Safeties Eric Reid and Adrian Colbert, linebacker Dekoda Watson, receiver Marquise Goodwin, defensive lineman Arik Armstead, linebacker Eli Harold and cornerback K'Waun Williams all knelt during the national anthem while the rest of the team stood and locked arms.

On Wednesday, Reid said he has discussions with team CEO Jed York in which he received assurances he would have the organization's support. It's telling that these decisions are being made at the team level and not being driven by the interests of the players collectively.

"A man with power comes to the game, tweets a couple things out and leaves the game in an attempt to thwart our efforts". The league later announced that NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith and player leaders will join that meeting. We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us.

The league released a joint statement with the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) earlier this week saying that they would work to advance the mission of the protests, which have called attention to issues of racial injustice and police brutality toward African-Americans.