Monday, 12 November, 2018

National Football League orders players to stand for anthem or stay in locker room

Members of the Saints sit during the National Anthem while teammates stand at their shoulders during the game between the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte NC on Sunday National Football League orders players to stand for anthem or stay in locker room
Emmett Howard | 24 May, 2018, 02:57

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

"There will be no club fines or suspensions or any sort of repercussions", he reiterated.

Off the field, the league has made a push to address social issues important to players.

But Johnson has also decried the move to force players to stay in their locker rooms if they want to protest during the anthem. "We're not forcing anybody to stand who doesn't feel that that's within the way they feel about particular subjects".

Jets chairman Christopher Johnson says that he will pay fines for any players who kneel, despite new policy. The NFL Players Association, unhappy about not being consulted, issued a response saying it will review the policy and "challenge any aspect" that is inconsistent with the CBA. "We've talked to tens if not hundreds of players about this over the previous year or so to get their input, to understand their position and, again, to respect them as I think we've stated here".

Owners were fractured on the topic through the set of owners meetings in March, when the league pinpointed this month's Atlanta meetings for a resolution that would attempt to resolve protests during the anthem, which some players had used to draw attention to social justice and racial inequality in their communities. This is not and was never the case.

The Game Operations Manual will be revised to remove the requirement that all players be on the field for the Anthem.

"This season, all league and team personnel shall stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem", he said.

The decision comes in the wake of criticism from many fans, as well as political figures including President Donald Trump, over the decision by a handful of players to kneel, sit or raise a fist during the anthem. When then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling in 2016, the league had no rule it could use to prevent it.

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If teams decide to enact a policy on the national anthem, they could enforce any policy including punishment under conduct detrimental rules. The unique platform that we have created is unprecedented in its scope, and will provide extraordinary resources in support of programs to promote positive social change in our communities.

Pence and Mother left the Indianapolis stadium, the former governor issuing a statement: "I left today's Colts game because @POTUS and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem".

"It was unfortunate that on-field protests created a false perception among many that thousands of National Football League players were unpatriotic", Goodell said in his statement.

"I don't think we should be profiting if we're going to put this type of attention and focus on the field and on the flag", he told Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times. "We are honored to work with our players to drive progress", commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday.

"Wouldn't you love to see one of these National Football League owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out!"

Kaepernick, who was not signed by an NFL team in 2017 after he became a free agent, and former teammate Eric Reid, who also protested, have filed grievances against the league for allegedly conspiring to keep them off NFL rosters because of the demonstrations.

Trump's attack on protesting players prompted a backlash among players and owners, even ones known for their conservative views, and many players took a knee before the anthem following the president's "son of a bitch" comments.

President Trump criticized the movement during a speech last September, stating players should be "fired" for not standing.

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