NFL Forcing Players to Stand for National Anthem
The NFL’s seems to be forcing players to stand during the national anthem with a newly released policy: Players, teams can be fined if they don’t stand
The NFL will enact a national anthem policy for 2018 that will require both players and league personnel on the sideline to stand but gives them the option to remain in the locker room if they don’t want to stand, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced Wednesday.
The change was said to be approved by team owners at the Spring League Meeting. It was also said that individual clubs will have the power to set their own policies to ensure the anthem is being respected during any on-field action. If a player chooses to protest on the sideline, the NFL will fine the team. The player also could be fined by his team.
Goodell said the six changes under the policy were unanimously approved by team owners.
“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,” Goodell said in a statement. “We are dedicated to continuing our collaboration with players to advance the goals of justice and fairness in all corners of our society.
“It was unfortunate that on-field protests created a false perception among many that thousands of NFL players were unpatriotic. This is not and was never the case.”
Statement from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell pic.twitter.com/1Vn7orTo1R
— NFL (@NFL) May 23, 2018
The change comes after the protests, started in 2016 when Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the anthem to draw awareness to issues of social inequality against minorities. Soon after, players throughout the league chose not to stand during the anthem prior to the start of games during the 2017 season.
President Trump criticized the movement during a speech last September, stating players should be fired for not standing.
After discussing the topic at length with team owners at the Fall League Meeting last year, Goodell said the NFL wouldn’t force players to stand for the national anthem even though the league believed they should stand.
Off the field, the league has made a push to address social issues important to players. Working in conjunction with the Players Coalition, the league stepped up its efforts to support players on social issues important to them, dedicating $89 million to efforts combating social inequality.
At a news conference announcing the policy change, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said, “Clearly our objective of the league and to all 32 clubs, which was unanimous, is that we want people to be respectful of the national anthem. We want people to stand, that’s all personnel, and make sure we treat this moment in a respectful fashion. That’s something we think we owe. … I think the general public has a very strong view of what respect for the flag is. We have language in our policy that talks about that.”
The NFL Players Association states they were not consulted about the new policy prior to owners voting on it.
— NFLPA (@NFLPA) May 23, 2018
“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.”