Brian McCarthy added: "The NFL has been engaged in constructive discussions with the NFL Players Association regarding the anthem and issues of equality and social justice that are of concern to many Americans. We're all on good terms".
Malcolm Jenkins #27 of the Philadelphia Eagles raises his fist during the national anthem as Chris Long #56 puts his arm around him prior to the preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lincoln Financial Field on Thursday, in Philadelphia.
Jenkins met with Reverend Jesse Jackson when Jackson visited the team this week. "You know what I mean?"
"I think it was just kind of a culmination of how the offseason went and where we are now", he said.
At Baltimore, both teams stood, but while most of the Ravens lined up shoulder to shoulder on the sideline, second-year linebacker Tim Williams stood alone in front of the bench with his back toward the field. Instead, the league opted to join with the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) to come up with a joint policy.
The protest controversy began in 2016, when then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick knelt during the rendition of the anthem to call attention to injustices faced by people of color, particularly at the hands of the police.
The NFL modified its national anthem protocol in May, prohibiting any sort of demonstrations for the 2018 season, but allowing players to remain in the locker room during the anthem if they chose to.
National anthem protests returned to the NFL Thursday, as two Miami Dolphins players took a knee and one of their teammates raised a fist during "The Star Spangled Banner" ahead of the team's preseason opener.
The league noted that while players won't be disciplined, it expects all players on the field to stand during the presentation of the flag and the anthem.
"We remain committed to working with the players to identify solutions and to continue making progress on important social issue affecting our communities".