NFL commissioner Roger Goodell issued a memo to all 32 teams on Tuesday in a bid to end the controversy surrounding player protests during the national anthem.
Goodell is looking to squash the controversy by agreeing on a uniform approach for all teams.
"Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the national anthem. It is an important moment in our game," Goodell wrote in the memo. "We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us.
"We also care deeply about our players and respect their opinions and concerns about critical social issues. The controversy over the anthem is a barrier to having honest conversations and making real progress on the underlying issues. We need to move past this controversy, and we want to do that together with our players."
The NFL's current anthem policy states that players "should" stand for the anthem, but does not require it.
Goodell also wrote that the NFL has developed a plan to review during next week's fall league meeting in New York based on discussions with teams and players. The plan "would include such elements as an in-season platform to promote the work of our players on these core issues, and that will help to promote positive change in our country," per Goodell.