49ers won't force players to stand for national anthem

San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick left and safety Eric Reid kneel during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Santa Clara Calif. The 49ers won't be forcing their

49ers won't force players to stand for national anthem

Reid, the first player to join Colin Kaepernick in protest last season, said he had a conversation recently with 49ers CEO Jed York, who indicated he will continue to support his players if they decide to kneel during the national anthem to protest social injustice.

When McCain implied that kneeling during the national anthem is not "good for America", Reid told-off the former Fox News host by explaining the protests have nothing to do with "disrespecting the military or the anthem", like many conservatives believe. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote in a memo circulated to league executives that the anthem topic is dividing the league from its fans, and the league needs to move beyond the controversy.

Goodell said the NFL also plans to review the issue during next week's fall league meeting in NY.

"He's expressed very clearly that he wants to support us, that he's not going to force us to do anything", Reid said. We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us. Reid, who's been with the 49ers since 2013, didn't take kindly to that approach.

The league's owners meet next week, with the national anthem "front and center on the agenda", according to NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart.

Reid has consistently said his and the actions of other National Football League players' are not meant to disrespect the anthem, the flag or the US military, but feel that the message has been distorted.

More than 20 49ers kneeled during the anthem during the last two games, while teammates stood behind them with hands on their shoulders.

On Sunday, US vice president Mike Pence walked out of the Indianapolis Colts' game against the San Francisco 49ers after a number of 49ers players took a knee during the anthem.

"I was hoping that it wasn't", going to shift the tone of the conversation, Reid said, "but I guess, they said it was going to be a one week thing when they did it". "We know that there is a serious debate in this country about those issues, but there is no question in my mind that the National Football League and the Dallas Cowboys are going to stand up for the flag".

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