After two weeks filled with pregame demonstrations before and during the national anthem, the NFL and NFLPA met on Tuesday to discuss "social activism of NFL players." The NFL and NFLPA released a joint statement that didn't reveal any details of what actually happened during the meeting. They did say, however, that the conversation was "productive."
Here's their statement:
The NFL and NFLPA met today to discuss the important issue of social activism by NFL players. Roger Goodell, DeMaurice Smith, Eric Winston, Robert Kraft, John Mara, Art Rooney, and other player leaders engaged in a productive conversation. We are all committed to an ongoing dialogue.
The widespread demonstrations began after Donald Trump said on Sept. 22 that players who kneel during the anthem to protest racial injustice should be fired by teams.
"Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a b---- off the field right now," Trump said. "Out. He's fired. He's fired."
"You know, some owner is going to do that, he's going to say, 'That guy that disrespects our flag, he's fired,'" he continued. "And that owner, they don't know it -- they're friends of mine, many of them -- they don't know it, they'll be the most popular person for a week, they'll be the most popular person in this country, because that's a total disrespect of our heritage, that's a total disrespect of everything that we stand for."
Immediately, teams condemned his remarks and players criticized him on Twitter. During the slate of games on Sept. 24, members of the Dolphins wore shirts in support of Colin Kaepernick, some teams didn't even come out for the national anthem, many teams linked arms -- the demonstrations were widespread. They continued on Sunday.
Before the games kicked off on Sunday, ESPN's Don Van Natta Jr. and Seth Wickersham provided an inside look at how the NFL reacted to the entire situation. Included in that story was a proposal for players to wear "Team America" patches and a phone call between Goodell and Smith.
"It certainly was my takeaway that the commissioner was looking for a way for the protests to end," Smith told ESPN.
"Knowing the league the way I know the league, they are first and foremost concerned about the impact on their business," he continued. "That's always their first concern. I mean, who are we kidding?"
For a recap of how every team demonstrated during the past couple of weeks, check out our protest tracker here.