Commissioner Roger Goodell wants National Football League (NFL) players standing for the national anthem, according to ESPN.
ESPN on Tuesday reported that Goodell made his stance on the issue clear in a letter to all 32 NFL teams sent the same day.
Goodell’s letter added that that the NFL has a plan to “move past” the ongoing anthem debate, one the league could enact next week.
The matter could be debated, and likely acted upon, during the NFL’s regularly-scheduled fall meetings on Oct. 17-18.
“Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the national anthem,” he said in the letter. “It is an important moment in our game.”
“We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us,” Goodell continued.
“We also care deeply about our players and respect their opinions and concerns about critical social issues.”
Goodell added, however, that “the controversy over the Anthem is a barrier to having honest conversations and making real progress on the underlying issues.”
“We need to move pass this controversy, and we want to do that together with our players,” he said.
Scores of NFL coaches, executives and players have knelt during the national anthem after President Trump criticized the move last month.
Trump has since repeatedly called the gesture “disgraceful,” and he has also advocated firing those who perform it from the NFL.
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 to protest America’s racial injustice.