Nfl Commissioner Roger Goodell is attempting to end the highly controversial player protests during the National Anthem. Though the protests have been happening for over a year now, they have recently been in a bigger spotlight than ever before. With the number of kneeling players increasing, the league faced a bad reaction from President Trump. During a rally last month, Trump called these players "sons of bitches" and said they should be fired. The player protests have received national coverage since the start, but Trump's involvement has added an extra layer of controversy.

A unified league

In his letter to team owners, Goodell calls the protests a threat to the unifying power of football. He says that he has met with the NFL's player association to discuss why exactly the social issues that stemmed the protests are so important to players.

The commissioner says that like many of their fans, the league believes that everybody should stand during the national anthem in order to respect the country and its flag.

This statement does not do a good job of addressing what the players who have been protesting have said about their message. Following Vice President Pence's seemingly staged exit at the Colts vs. 49ers, players clearly explained what their goal is.

Protesting for real unity

In a postgame interview, Eric Reid of the 49ers told reporters that their protest is clearly not about the flag, the military, or the national anthem. The executive director of the NFL player association, DeMaurice Smith, also gave a statement addressing the controversy.

Smith explained that it takes both bravery and courage for the players to speak up as they have.

Their only goal is to bring attention to pressing social issues that are not receiving the attention they should. He discussed how hard it is for the players to do this especially when it is so unpopular with some people.

The director's statement says their goal is exactly what Goodell wants: for everyone to reunite as a country.

He wants everyone to be able to embrace what the flag actually stands for, which is "liberty and justice for all."

Goodell's letter to teams ended announcing that league has come up with a plan to end the controversy while giving players a platform to address social issues. His plan apparently aims to promote a positive change within the country and will be presented to teams during next week's league meeting.