We started [kneeling] to raise awareness and to effectuate change.

The San Diego Chargers selected Manning with the No. 1 pick, but he was a member of the team for only 45 minutes before he was traded to the Giants for No. 4 overall selection Rivers. The Chargers also received a third-round selection in the deal, as well as first- and fifth-round picks in 2005.

But the reason for the blockbuster deal Manning’s desire to avoid playing in San Diego came with little explanation. Chargers general manager A.J. Smith only said that it was the wishes of Eli’s father and former Saints quarterback Archie Manning that forced the deal.

[Eli Manning’s agent Tom Condon] told me that Archie wishes that we do not select Eli and that they think he would be a good fit in New York (with the Giants), Smith said in 2004, via the San Diego Union Tribune. We understand his position and certainly understand his interest in New York, but we will do what we think is the best for the franchise.

Reid told TheMMQB.com that the meetings were a starting point and he would continue to kneel for the national anthem.

This is a long-term project, if you want to call it that, Reid said. There wasn’t much that was going to happen in a two-hour meeting. We are going to continue to meet, continue to have dialogue and figure out a way to get these issues on track.

We started [kneeling] to raise awareness and to effectuate change. We’re on the path to make the change we think we can make; we are just not there yet.

The players’ union and the league issued a joint statement just before the annual fall owners meetings began.

Today owners and players had a productive meeting focused on how we can work together to promote positive social change and address inequality in our communities, the statement said. NFL executives and owners joined NFLPA executives and player leaders to review and discuss plans to utilize our platform to promote equality and effectuate positive change. We agreed that these are common issues and pledged to meet again to continue this work together.

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