The National Football League passed a new national anthem policy today, which essentially outlaws kneeling during the national anthem.
As outlined in the new league policy, a team will be fined if players or personnel are on the field but “do not stand and show respect for the flag” during the national anthem. Additionally, each team is free to develop their own rules regarding players and personnel who do not respect the flag. Players will no longer be required to be on the field for the anthem, and can choose to remain in the locker room, without being fined.
After the announcement was made, the NFL Players Association said the union was not consulted about the new policy and that the vote contradicts statements made to the player leadership by commissioner Roger Goodell.
The NFLPA statement reads:
The NFL chose to not consult the union in the development of this new “policy.” NFL players have shown their patriotism through their social activism, their community service, in support of our military and law enforcement and yes, through their protests to raise awareness about the issues they care about.
The vote by NFL club CEOs today contradicts the statements made to our player leadership by Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Chairman of the NFL’s Management Council John Mara about the principles, values and patriotism of our League.
Our union will review the new “policy” and challenge any aspect of it that is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement.