NFL Adopts New Anthem Policy to Quell Player Protests

NFL Adopts New Anthem Policy to Quell Player Protests

Stand or stay out of sight.

Commissioner Roger Goodell called it a compromise aimed at putting the focus back on football after a tumultuous year in which television ratings dipped almost 10 percent. The NFL Players Association, unhappy about not being consulted, issued a response saying it will review the policy and "challenge any aspect" that is inconsistent with the CBA.

Also noteworthy, is the provision that the discipline of the protesting players will be left to the teams.

"The policy adopted today was approved in concert with the NFL's ongoing commitment to local communities and our country - one that is extraordinary in its scope, resources, and alignment with our players".

The fining or punishment of players and other personnel would be dictated by the individual teams. In that scenario, the home team would decide whether both teams would come out of the locker room for "The Star-Spangled Banner". How can you call them partners, and then they're not involved? The teams also have the power to impose fines on the players who take a knee.

"As you look back at previous year, it was hard for all of us within the league", Packers president Mark Murphy said. "So it's really not a compromise". "I believe that to keep everything nice and easy, players should just stay in the locker room". It's going to be something guys are going to have to deal with. The new policy removes that requirement, allowing players who do not wish to stand to remain in the locker room.

The NFL Player's Association, which represents players in the union, isn't happy.

Goodell said that the vote was unanimous. The Browns went so far as to hold a social justice summit the day before the draft to bring together socially-minded players and community non-profit and government leaders. He says he'll support the players "wherever we land as a team".

"I do not like imposing any club-specific rules", Johnson told Newsday. "We want people to stand, that's all personnel and make sure they treat this moment in a a respectful fashion".


Two Seattle players, Doug Baldwin and K.J. Wright, were among many around the league to question the new policy.

"As I have in the past, I will support our players wherever we land as a team", Johnson said in a statement, adding that he intends to meet with coach Todd Bowles and the players to discuss the league's decision.

The owners spent more than three hours over two days addressing the contentious issue - which made it all the way to the White House.

Teams now can fine players for failing to show respect for the anthem - that reportedly includes kneeling, which Colin Kaepernick started as a form of protest in the preseason of 2016.

Several other Dolphins, including left tackle Laremy Tunsil, did not stand for the anthem during the one game immediately following President Donald Trump's critical comments about players who don't stand for the anthem. Kaepernick has been a free agent since March 2017. At 26, he has gone unsigned despite starting at safety for five years; earlier this month, Reid filed a grievance against the National Football League and its teams.

"I think they [players] have the right to protest, but not during the national anthem", said Jim Daly, 70, of Catonsville. Multiple New Orleans Saints players sat during the anthem before a Week 3 game at Carolina. "You can express yourself, but we want you to stand because you want to stand".

York said he felt players and officials should have direct input on the matter. "I don't understand, I really don't understand it", said Woody.

"We chose to kneel because it's a respectful gesture", Reid wrote in an editorial for The New York Times last fall.

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