49ers

Will the 49ers be distracted by protests? 'No, not at all'

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USATSI

Will the 49ers be distracted by protests? 'No, not at all'

SANTA CLARA – The 49es’ internal discussion of how to proceed with a unified protest of racial inequality has not impacted the team’s preparations this week, coach Kyle Shanahan said.

“No, not at all,” Shanahan told NBC Sports Bay Area on Thursday during a weekly sit-down interview that airs on 49ers Game Plan.

“You don’t change your routine. I think it’s something that you definitely have to address, especially with what happened this weekend. So we addressed it the first thing Monday. It was a bonus day. Usually, Monday is the day after a game. For us, it was four days after a game, so we had that extra time.”

The 49ers were off over the weekend when there was widespread reaction around the league prompted by President Trump’s remarks in which he encouraged NFL owners to cut any player who takes part in a protest during the playing of the national anthem.

"Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he's fired. He's fired,'" Trump said during a speech in Alabama last Friday.

Shanahan said the topic was addressed for approximately five minutes during a team meeting on Monday. Shanahan later got together with the team’s 12-player leadership council for about 20 minutes.

A players-only meeting was held Thursday after practice to further discuss options for an appropriate unified action.

“On Thursdays after practice we let the players get out of here,” Shanahan said. “We start up early Friday to review practice. Those guys right now are actually getting together and talking about exactly what they’d like to do to really represent their support for each other.

“They’re going to let me know afterward and we’ll figure that out. But that will probably be about 15 minutes dedicated to that before we get on the plane to fly to Arizona on Saturday.”

It is not known what the team has planned for Sunday prior to the 49ers’ game against the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale, Arizona.

“I think we as a team, as long as we stick together, we could figure something out and come together as one,” 49ers veteran linebacker NaVorro Bowman said prior to the team meeting.

When asked how the team would respond, Bowman said, “That remains to be seen on Sunday.”

Roger Goodell: 'What we are trying to stay out of is politics'

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USATSI

Roger Goodell: 'What we are trying to stay out of is politics'

NEW YORK — The NFL is not changing its national anthem policy to require players to stand during the national anthem.

Commissioner Roger Goodell and several owners said Wednesday at the league’s fall meetings that altering the language from “should stand” to “must stand” was not discussed.

New York Giants owner John Mara noted that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones “spoke at length” to the other owners about the anthem issue. Jones has said any Dallas player who doesn’t stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner” would not be playing.

Goodell reiterated that the league and its 32 clubs “believe everyone should stand for the national anthem. It’s an important part of our policy and the game. It’s important to honor our flag and our country and I think our fans expect that.”

Asked about any owners who threatened discipline for players who didn’t stand, Goodell said the owners didn’t discuss it.

“There was a fair amount of conversation and I think our clubs see it the same way. I can’t deal with hypotheticals,” Goodell said.

Reminded that President Donald Trump tweeted again Wednesday about the demonstrations during the anthem, Goodell said there was nothing unpatriotic about his league.

“Everyone feels strongly about our country and have pride,” he said, adding the NFL is “not afraid of tough conversations.

“What we are trying to stay out of is politics.”

Goodell noted that only six or seven players are still kneeling or are involved in protests.

“We hope we will continue to work to put that at zero,” he said.

On Tuesday, in an unprecedented move for a league meeting, a group of 11 owners and more than a dozen players met for more than two hours at NFL headquarters. Among the topics discussed was enhancing the players’ platforms for speaking out on social issues.

“I understand the way they feel about these issues,” Goodell said Wednesday. “We feel the same about patriotism and the flag and I believe our players feel that way. We have a great deal of support for the efforts of our players.”

Trump blasts NFL for not demanding players stand during national anthem

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AP

Trump blasts NFL for not demanding players stand during national anthem

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is again criticizing the NFL over players kneeling during the national anthem.

Trump said on Twitter Wednesday that the “NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem.”

He adds: “Total disrespect for our great country!”

Trump appeared to be responding to the NFL annual fall meeting on Tuesday. The league invited players and representatives from their union to discuss social issues.

The topic of the national anthem was not discussed at length. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said owners did not ask players to commit to standing during the anthem.

Trump has suggested the owners should “fire” any players who knelt during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”