NFLPA issues statement in response to NFL's new national anthem policy


Personnel who choose not to stand for the Anthem may stay in the locker room or in a similar location off the field until after the Anthem has been performed.

On Wednesday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced that players and league personnel on the sideline will be required to stand during the national anthem.

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

It's not clear how the new rule's "proper respect" will be defined, and whether players will find a way around this with another form of protest, or if they'll simply choose to remain in the locker room during the playing of the anthem.

Said Giants president and co-owner John Mara: "I'm pleased with the outcome".

"We're not forcing anybody to stand who doesn't feel like it", Rooney said. But those that are on the field are going to be asked to stand. Ominously, the number of people naming the anthem protests as the main cause for watching less, rose 18% from the previous year.

"We've listened to a lot of different viewpoints including our fans over the past year and this policy is an attempt to get to a place where we have respected everybody's point of view as best as we could".

All team and league personnel on the field shall stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem. Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown reportedly told free agent safety Eric Reid this offseason that he planned to require Bengals players to stand for the anthem.

The owners seemed to address that concern by saying only teams would be fined for violations, not individual players. The NFL did not disclose the amount of such a fine. Pence's tweet was retweeted by the White House's official @POTUS account.

The players' union said it wasn't consulted in the talks and would file a grievance against any change in the collective bargaining agreement.

"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. 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.

Many fans were divided when a number of NFL players, in protest of police brutality against people of color, began kneeling during the National Anthem.

NASCAR does not a have an anthem policy, but, according to USA TODAY Sports, "some NASCAR team owners said they would terminate employees who knelt during the anthem".

York said he abstained because he wanted to make sure the 49ers organization focused on the progress aspect, not focus on the protests. That drops down to just about half of independents (51 percent) and less than 3 in 10 Democrats (29 percent) who said the same; 66 percent of Democrats said protesting the anthem is sometimes appropriate.

"It's more of a PR move to me more than anything, " Baldwin said. In league policy, it was never okay to not stand for the national anthem. Which would give owners an incentive to curtail the protests.

"I think we've got to get this issue resolved before the season so that everyone is on the same page, " Wright said. "But one of the real positives that came out of it was improved relationships between the management and the players". "I think that's a particularly bad idea... We will continue the conversation this morning".