Chargers tackle Russell Okung, Washington cornerback Josh Norman, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and New England owner Robert Kraft are among the players, owners and executives attending a Tuesday morning meeting at league headquarters to discuss how the league should move forward on the national anthem controversy.
Notably absent were Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who threatened to bench any player who didn't stand for the anthem, and former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. A league spokesman said he was not aware of Kaepernick being invited to the meeting.
It's extremely rare for players to attend the annual fall owners meeting, but this issue is atop the league's agenda.
Among the others attending were players Darius Butler (Indianapolis), Kenny Stills (Miami), Julius Thomas (Miami), Michael Thomas (Miami), Mark Herzlich (New York Giants), Kelvin Beachum (New York Jets), Demario Davis (New York Jets), Malcolm Jenkins (Philadelphia), Chris Long (Philadelphia), and Eric Reid (San Francisco); owners Michael Bidwill (Arizona), Arthur Blank (Atlanta), Robert McNair (Houston), Shad Khan (Jacksonville), John Mara (Giants), Art Rooney (Pittsburgh), Jeffrey Lurie (Philadelphia) and Jed York (San Francisco). Former player Anquan Boldin was there as well.
Representing the NFL Players Assn. were DeMaurice Smith, who is the union's executive director, Eric Winston and Don Davis.
Along with Goodell was NFL executive Troy Vincent.
After the meeting, the league and NFLPA released this joint statement:
"Today owners and players had a productive meeting focused on how we can work together to promote positive social change and address inequality in our communities. NFL executives and owners joined NFLPA executives and player leaders to review and discuss plans to utilize our platform to promote equality and effectuate positive change. We agreed that these are common issues and pledged to meet again to continue this work together.
"As we said last week, everyone who is part of our NFL community has a tremendous respect for our country, our flag, our anthem and our military. In the best American tradition, we are coming together to find common ground and commit to the hard work required for positive change."
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11:15 a.m.: This post was updated with a joint statement from the NFL and NFLPA issued after the meeting.