NFL Players Demanding Mediation of National Anthem Protest Controversy

Ap Butch dill
AP: Photo/Butch Dill

With the National Football League losing ratings and fans by the millions, and no end in sight to Commissioner Roger Goodell’s coddling of the players’ protests. A group of players are now demanding that the mediation process be employed to solve the issue.

The players have asked for mediation in a recent letter sent by 49ers safety Eric Reid to Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive V.P. of football operations, according to Pro Football Talk.

Players want to bring in an unbiased third party to mediate with the league in order to arrive at a concerted policy on the protests. Currently, the league’s stance is that the protests should come to an end and the players must stand for the playing of the national anthem. Despite that proclamation, though, Commissioner Goodell has also noted he has no desire to shut down the players and their protests.

With the NFL refusing to actually put an end to the protests, one wonders just what the players mean to resolve with mediation? They have the best of both worlds so far, as they are being allowed to protest with impunity.

But the secret to the mediation request is that the players union is seeking to fold the collusion grievance filed by former San Francisco 49ers second-string quarterback Colin Kaepernick into the mediation process to provide Kaepernick’s filing a higher profile.

Reid has also invited Kaepernick, and his representation to this proposed mediation meeting and Kaepernick has agreed to attend. Thus far, the league has not responded to the demand.

Players also have another issue they want addressed. They have a problem with vocal owners, such as Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who stand against the protests and want them stopped. Along with the lax treatment they have received at the hands of league officials, players also want owners like Jones to be shut down, and they clearly hope that this mediation might lead to a muzzle for outspoken owners.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.