The NFL has taken a stand against athletes kneeling during the National Anthem. They will be allowed to stay in the locker room during the song however, they will be required to stand if on the field.
According to the Associated Press, “NFL owners approved a new policy Wednesday aimed at addressing the firestorm over national anthem protests sparked by Colin Kaepernick and polarized by President Trump, permitting players to stay in the locker room during the “The Star-Spangled Banner” but requiring them to stand if they come to the field.
Commissioner Roger Goodell said the change was approved unanimously by the owners at their spring meeting in Atlanta, but even that was up for debate.”
NFL players had absolutely no say in this ruling. If they violate this new regulation their team will be penalized. Any attempts to fine the players directly would be unethical due to the fact that the change in policy is essentially a change in the terms and conditions of employment.
The implementation of this new policy has caused an uproar in the NFLPA (union for NFL football players). The Union released a statement earlier today saying, “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 (co-owner of the New York Giants) about the principles, values and patriotism of our League.”