During their autumn meeting on Tuesday, NFL officials told players they were committed to helping them with their political activism. Over the past month, an increasing number of players have chosen to "Take A Knee" during the anthem to protest racial inequality and police brutality.
Donald Trump's condemnation of the practice has only made it more widespread. In September, the president stated that NFL owners should fire players who sit or kneel during the anthem. Earlier this month, he sent Vice President Mike Pence to a 49ers game specifically so he could walk out when players didn't stand.
Despite Trump's calls for supporters to boycott NFL games, the league appears to be undaunted by the president's threats.
"We spent today talking about the issues that our players have been trying to bring attention to. About issues in our communities to make our communities better," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters today.
Outside the Manhattan hotel where the meeting was held, about two dozen people showed their support by kneeling on the sidewalk and holding signs that read "Take a knee against police brutality."
"Today's discussion with our players was very productive and very important. It reflected our commitment to work together with our players on issues of social justice," Goodell said. "Our players are men of great character. They have a very deep understanding and tremendous knowledge of the issues that are going on in all of our communities, and their commitment to addressing these issues is really admirable."