After rumors swirled early this week that the NFL would prohibit players from sitting or kneeling during the national anthem, the league and players' union jointly announced on Wednesday that there would be no change in policy.
Rumors of the rule change drew praise from President Donald Trump, who had previously made derogatory remarks toward those who did not stand for the national anthem.
"It is about time that (NFL Commissioner) Roger Goodell of the NFL is finally demanding that all players STAND for our great National Anthem-RESPECT OUR COUNTRY," Trump said in a tweet early on Wednesday.
Some have said on social media they're boycotting the league for allowing players to kneel during the national anthem. Among those who are counter-protesting the NFL is Vice President Mike Pence, who walked out just before the start of an Indianapolis Colts game on Sunday.
A small number of players began kneeling for the national anthem early last year in protest of racial inequality and policy brutality. Those counter-protesting have been attributed to a small drop in the NFL's television ratings.
“Commissioner Roger Goodell reached out to NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith today and both he and player leadership will attend the League meetings next week," the NFL and NFLPA said in a joint statement. "There has been no change in the current policy regarding the anthem. The agenda will be a continuation of how to make progress on the important social issues that players have vocalized.
"Everyone who is part of our NFL community has a tremendous respect for our country, our flag, our anthem and our military, and we are coming together to deal with these issues in a civil and constructive way.”