With the increasing divide between players and the owners in light of all that has happened with the national anthem protests, the league and the NFLPA met on Tuesday morning in New York City under the guise of seeking a compromise.
Is Colin Kaepernick now without a job in the National Football League for reasons other than his ability to play quarterback and specifically because of his social activism as demonstrated by his refusal last season to stand for the playing of the National Anthem?
"It's not trying to trade off to get somebody to stand up, you want to make sure that people feel compelled to do what they feel comfortable with", San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York told reporters on Tuesday.
A letter from Goodell to team owners circulated in the media recently that discussed a possible rule change that would force all players to stand while the anthem plays.
Reports are that the national anthem protests did not dominate the conversation, and owners did not express a desire for the protests to end.
"[Our discussions] reflected our commitment to work together with our players on issues of social justice", Goodell said. We spent today talking about the issues that players have been trying to bring attention to - issues to make our communities better. "We hope and continue to work to try to put that at zero - that's what we'd like to do". "They will state to you, and they have stated to everyone publicly, they are not doing this in any way to be disrespectful to the flag, but they also understand how it's being interpreted, and we're dealing with those underlying issues".
The league and players say they have seen their messages getting lost because their demonstrations were misconstrued by the president and by fans.
"We just talked about how the owners could come alongside us and we could collectively, collaboratively work together to actually create some change and some real changes".
"Our players are men of great character", Goodell said at the conference.
When pressed on the issues, Goodell talked about taking action.
Polls have found that a majority of Americans disapprove of the anthem protests but are unhappy with the way Trump has handled the issue.
Other players followed suit, and the movement spread after criticism from US President Donald Trump last month.
Goodell said he was pleased so far with the pace of play, crediting the 40-second clock, centralized replay and the officials' access to Microsoft Surface tablets as reasons for the positive change.