The National Anthem protests that have taken the NFL by storm this season are costing commissioner Roger Goodell big money, as his contract extension has been delayed while the league handles the inner turmoil over players taking a knee during the Star Spangled Banner.
Goodell’s contract extension was expected to have been completed by now, but the league has instead been focusing on responding to the ongoing controversy surrounding players kneeling during the anthem.
Only 20 minutes of last week’s owners meeting was spent discussing Goodell’s contract, during which the deal was initially expected to be completed, according to ESPN.
Goodell presented a proposal to NFL owners at the meeting last week that included ways to amplify players’ work on social issues.
The commissioner had earlier said that he thought everyone should stand for the national anthem, but said after the meeting last week that the league would not require players to stand during the anthem.
Goodell was the subject of much criticism when the hefty extension was initially announced, as many fans don’t believe his work deserves $40 million+ salary.
If the NFL appeared as though it considered the anthem protests a huge issue, it is because internally the league views it that way, with concerns over player rights showing no sign of receding.
“The anthem issue has overridden everything — and I do mean everything,” one source told ESPN.
Last week, the league’s decision not to change the written code of conduct policy and mandate players stand for the National Anthem was greeted with anger by Trump and other Republican lawmakers.
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