Mike Brown Says NFL Told Owners to Stay Quiet on Anthem Issue During Talks

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 25, 2018

Cincinnati Bengals NFL football team owner Mike Brown watches practice during pre-draft workouts with local players from the surrounding region, Tuesday, April 17, 2018, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
John Minchillo/Associated Press

As the NFL and NFL Players Association work on a solution to the latest changes to the league's national anthem policy, owners have been told to remain quiet on the issue.

"The league and the union are talking on this, and we're instructed to stand down while that's ongoing," Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown said Tuesday, per Katherine Terrell of ESPN.com.

"I'm not going to sit here and stir the pot," he added. "They don't want to hear from me right now. Let's see how this bubbles up, and I hope they can come up with some kind of answer that is acceptable to not just the club and the players but more the public."

The players association put out a joint statement with the league last week indicating that both parties are hoping to find a resolution on the anthem issue.

The statement also noted that none of the new rules will be enforced while discussions are ongoing.

The league's owners unanimously agreed to changes to its current policy in May, which required players to stand during the national anthem if they leave the locker room.

There were previously no rules about conduct during the pregame ceremony, but the changes were made in response to players kneeling during the national anthem in protest against racial injustice over the past two years.

ESPN.com reported last week that the Miami Dolphins submitted a document to the league saying their players could receive up to a four-game suspension if they kneel during the national anthem.

"It should never have developed into the issue it has," Brown said. "Yes, it bothers me that we sit here today talking about the anthem issue."