NFL Owners approve new national anthem policy

28 May, 2018, 19:30 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Statement From NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell On New National Anthem Policy

The National Football League will fine teams if players on the field refuse to stand for the national anthem, the league said on Wednesday in a victory for U.S. President Donald Trump, who loudly demanded an end to such protests past year. "We want people to stand, that's all personnel, and make sure that they treat this moment in a respectful fashion that's something I think we owe".

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced on Wednesday a new policy that will fine teams if players on the field fail to stand during the "Star-Spangled Banner". "[But] we were also very sensitive to give players choices".

The NFL Players Association criticized the new policy, saying it was not consulted and it may issue a challenge should it violate the collective bargaining agreement. "If the team gets fined, that's just something I'll have to bear".

Each team may develop its own work rules regarding players or personnel who do not comply with the policy, which could include fines.

It remains to be seen whether some players will protest and whether the NFL Player Association will be happy, but I am sure we will find out in due course, as of now the rule has been passed and the policy will be in place for match days.

While Johnson has made it clear he has his players' backs, he also has little to worry about. Kaepernick has been a free agent since March 2017.

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Trump turned the debate into a campaign issue, saying the National Football League should fire any player who takes a knee during "The Star-Spangled Banner". Kaepernick and Reid both kneeled during the National Anthem when they were 49ers teammates, and Reid continued his protest last season.

The kneeling controversy rattled a $14 billion (£10.4 billion) industry, and the new policy attempts to resolve a distraction for the owners, said Bob Dorfman, a sports marketing expert at Baker Street Advertising. "These owners don't love America more than the players demonstrating and taking real action to improve it", he said, adding he would be committed to using his platform to affect change.

"They know I will stand up for them".

"We've spent a lot of time, not just at this meeting, but really over the a year ago discussing the issue of the anthem and working with our players to make sure we could get to a place where all the different viewpoints could be respected", said Art Rooney II, owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, they also have the option of remaining in the locker room during the anthem if they prefer, according to a Wednesday announcement.

"I think the fact that those who are not comfortable standing for the anthem have the right to stay off the field - so we're not forcing anybody to stand who doesn't feel that way about particular subjects - but those who are on the field are going to be asked to stand". Instead, players, coaches and Johnson locked arms during the playing of the anthem previous year to show unity within the organization.

"If you look back at last fall, it was hard for all of us within the league", Murphy said.

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