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Report: Kneeling protests spark a war among NFL owners against Roger Goodell
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is at the center of a burgeoning war between NFL team owners upset over his treatment of the controversy surrounding player protests during the national anthem. (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)

Report: Kneeling protests spark a war among NFL owners against Roger Goodell

A group of NFL owners led by Jerry Jones, the Dallas Cowboys owner, are reportedly making moves to stall the contract extension of commissioner Roger Goodell, and they're citing the mishandling of player protests among their reasons.

How are the owners pushing against Goodell?

According to the New York Times' Ken Belson, Jones has hired a powerful lawyer and threatened to sue the NFL over Goodell's contract extension.

Jones is angry because of the suspension of Cowboys' running back Ezekiel Elliot over allegations of domestic violence, and also over mismanagement of the controversy stemming from player protests during the national anthem.

What did Goodell do about the protests?

Goodell initially allowed players to protest during the national anthem, then appeared to propose a new rule demanding they stand during the anthem, and then backed down after a public outcry.

Jones also tried to thread the needle over the protests by appearing on field with his players to kneel before the national anthem was sung, and then standing together during the anthem. Afterward he said that any player who would be seen protesting during the anthem would be benched.

At the owners' most recent quarterly meeting, it was reported that the anthem protests were hardly discussed at all. Meanwhile, Colin Kaepernick, the former 49ers quarterback who started the protests, is suing the NFL for collusion to keep him from playing.

Goodell's term as commissioner has been mired by controversy, but he's also overseen a massive increase in profitability and viewership.

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