Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown says owners around the league have been asked to stay under the radar while the NFL and NFLPA sort out the league's national anthem policy.
"The league and the union are talking on this and we're instructed to stand down while that's ongoing," Brown said Tuesday, according to ESPN's Katherine Terrell. "I'm not going to sit here and stir the pot. They don't want to hear from me right now. Let's see how this bubbles up and I hope they can come up with some kind of answer that is acceptable to not just the club and the players, but more the public.
"And let's not forget the president," he added with a laugh.
Last week, the NFL and the NFLPA released a joint statement noting that no new rules relating to anthem protests will be enforced while the sides work to find a resolution over the next several weeks.
That came after NFL owners voted unanimously in May in favor of a policy allowing players to remain in their locker rooms during the national anthem. However, the policy also stated that the league could fine teams if players chose to leave the locker room but didn't show "respect for the flag and the anthem." Individual punishments for players would have been left up to the teams.
The Miami Dolphins are known to have already submitted a discipline document to the NFL stating that anthem protests would be "conduct detrimental to the club," allowing them to suspend or fine players for such behavior.
Brown didn't dive into whether or not he'd issue a similar policy, but did say the Bengals "had ways of handling it."
For the record, no Bengals players kneeled during the anthem last season.
Brown also said he's saddened that this issue is partially responsible for the NFL's divide with some fans in recent years.
"We have lost some of the fizz we had with the public with distractions, whether it's the anthem issue or the concussion issue," he said. "These issues are not generally fully understood by the people that criticize. And it has taken the focus off what we want the people to be looking at: the game itself. That's where the excitement is, not these periphery issues. We have challenges. They have to be addressed better than we have to this point. And we just have to see what the future brings.
"It should never have developed into the issue it has. Yes, it bothers me that we sit here today talking about the anthem issue."