Instead, the league seemed to muddle the divisive issue even more with a new policy that stirred up defenders of free speech, prompted a couple of owners to quickly backtrack and raised all sorts of potential questions heading into next season.
Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins has raised his fist for the last two years during the anthem as a sign of defiance - not a protest against the flag - and was one of the players' recognized leaders as they protested the shooting of unarmed Black men and the treatment of quarterback Colin Kaepernick, blackballed by National Football League teams ever since he initiated the social justice protests, which have somehow been construed as unpatriotic.
The decision by the owners was an attempt to quell a firestorm by moving protests away from the public eye and potentially lure back disgruntled fans.
But stay out of sight.
Jenkins' teammate defensive end Chris Long, who is white, has participated in the protests. Don't get it confused.
Marshall wishes players were consulted, but understands the league took action in the name of protecting the integrity of the NFL shield.
That's going to be dicey since these are paying customers and not employees the NFL can, after "hours of discussions with tens, if not hundreds of players" order to stand for the national anthem.
Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson indicated he was uncomfortable with the NFL's new policy because, essentially, the owners' decision was a message to players to keep quiet. "[Or] you shouldn't be playing, you shouldn't be there".
"They weren't disrespecting the flag or the military", Kerr added. "Give us a chance, we'll put this together in a really good way and we'll represent our fans".
'No alternative' to Iran deal, EU's Mogherini tells US
Those moves to save the deal indicate the Europeans would be reluctant to join a coalition with the U.S.to negotiate a new deal. Pompeo also warned European companies conducting business with Iran that the USA would also subject them to economic penalties.
Golden State coach Steve Kerr, trying to guide the Warriors to their fourth consecutive NBA Finals, ripped the NFL's new anthem policy and America's lack of gun safety laws as "idiotic" on Thursday.
"We want people to be respectful of the national anthem. But it's important for people to understand that".
The new policy also allows teams to adopt their own workplace rules, which many players interpreted as a backhanded way of subjecting them to fines, suspensions or loss of jobs should they carry on with the protests.
If the national anthem is this critical to the NFL, networks can refrain from trying to tell viewers what vehicle they should buy, what financial advisor they should use or which IT products they should purchase, for just a few minutes.
Earlier this year, Jenkins, who heads up The Players Coalition, accepted nearly $90 million from owners to support of the players' social justice initiatives. "Patriotism is loving it enough to sacrifice for it, but also to call it when it's wrong". Kaepernick also made it clear that he was protesting racism, police violence and inequality.
Both have filed collusion grievances against the NFL.
Meanwhile, the issue of police overreach and its impact on unarmed Black men was brought into focus on Wednesday when Milwaukee police released body camera video of the arrest and tasing of National Basketball Association player Sterling Brown.
"They've pretty much got the teams", Norman said.