Even though he usually keeps it close to the vest when discussing matters pertaining to his team, Chicago Bears Head Coach John Fox is a coach-y coach who would rather not discuss anything outside the world of football.
Still, he dipped his toe into the waters of current events when asked about protests of racial injustice and police brutality that have occurred in the NFL during the playing of the national anthem – even if he seemed hesitant to do so:
#Bears coach John Fox on anthem issue: "We're here to play football, so I'd rather alll our focus be on that."
— Bob LeGere (@BobLeGere) October 12, 2017
John Fox said he's proud of how the Bears have handled the national anthem: "All of us are better off when we’re united in what we do."
— Chris Emma (@CEmma670) October 12, 2017
Asked about anthem protests, John Fox stresses importance of team being united. "Love goes further than hate."
— Patrick Finley (@patrickfinley) October 12, 2017
Protests before and during the anthem have been a hot-button topic in the NFL, so much so, NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart said during a media conference call earlier in the week that discussions regarding the national anthem would be “front and center on the agenda” during next week’s league meetings.
For what it’s worth, NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy told FactCheck.org players are not required to stand for the anthem, though the league’s game operations manual encourages players to stand.
Earlier in the week, league commissioner Roger Goodell released a memo to the league’s 32 teams in which he writes the league believes everyone should stand for the anthem. Of course, Goodell didn’t supply any specifics regarding how he and the league plan to enforce such a ruling, but mentioned creating ” an in-season platform to promote the work of our players on these core issues.”
What that means in the short and long term remains to be seen.