NFL to teams: "We believe that everyone should stand for the national anthem"

The NFL sent out a letter to all 32 of its teams on Tuesday, addressing what has caused many sports fans across the country to question their loyalty to the institution. 

Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote in the letter, obtained by ESPN, that he wants all players to stand during the National Anthem. 

He did not specify how he plans to enforce it, but it will likely be discussed during the NFL's scheduled fall meetings on October 17 and 18. 

"Like many of our fans," Goodell wrote, "we believe that everyone should stand for the national anthem. It is an important moment in our game. We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us."

"We also care deeply about our players and respect their opinions and concerns about critical social issues. The controversy over the Anthem is a barrier to having honest conversations and making real progress on the underlying issues. We need to move past this controversy, and we want to do that together with our players."

The current policy in place states that players "should" stand for the Anthem, but it doesn't say anything about requiring it, ESPN reports. 

Early Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump touched on the topic in a tweet stating, "Why is the NFL getting massive tax breaks while at the same time disrespecting our Anthem, Flag and Country? Change tax law!"

Players who have participated in kneeling for the Anthem claim they are protesting police brutality and racism-not the flag itself. 

Colorado's own Denver Broncos were involved in the controversy at the end of September. Days later, the team released the following statement in part:

"Make no mistake- our actions were in no way a protest of the military, the flag or those who keep us safe. We have nothing but the deepest love and respect for those who protect our way of life and the freedoms we enjoy as Americans." 

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