NFL owners approved a new national anthem policy on Wednesday that allows players to remain in the locker room if they wish but also includes fine for teams if players or other personnel don't stand during the anthem. "We've talked to tens if not hundreds of players about this over the a year ago or so to get their input, to understand their position and, again, to respect them as I think we've stated here". It does not mention standing or being on the ice during the performance.
The NFL owners have been working throughout the past several days of their spring meeting in Atlanta to attempt to figure out what to do (if anything) about players protesting during the national anthem. I never want to put restrictions on the speech of our players. We haven't had to issue an edict. Teams responded with shows of unity the next Sunday, with more players taking part in the protests than ever before.
"Before the game, after the game, on their off time we encourage them to be as socially active and involved as they'd like to be ... and exercise their political choice".
"As you look back at past year, it was hard for all of us within the league", Packers president Mark Murphy said. There are some big, complicated issues that we're all struggling with, and our players are on the front lines.
The protests began almost two years ago when Colin Kaepernick protested during the anthem for the first time in August 2016. This is not and was never the case.
The change comes after players throughout the league chose not to stand during the anthem prior to the start of games during the 2017 season. "I just think that trying to forcibly get the players to shut up is a fantastically bad idea". "We're not forcing anybody to stand who doesn't feel that that's within the way they feel about particular subjects. And I think the more that we can get that message out and understand what they're fighting for and why they're fighting for it, the easier that it's gonna be to make progress".
"It was unfortunate that on-field protests created a false perception among many that thousands of National Football League players were unpatriotic".
"Hours after the new policy was announced, Pence tweeted "#Winning", with an image of an American flag and a screenshot of a CNN story about the new policy, which described the NFL's decision as "a stunning victory for President Trump". The NFL Players Association said in a statement that it will review the policy and "challenge any aspect" that is inconsistent with the CBA.
Earlier this week, the league finalized an $89 million social justice platform with players to help address "some of the underlying issues" that were under protest, said Mark Murphy, the Green Bay Packers' president/CEO. I'm going to stand for the national anthem, I think I've made that clear. The 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 portests to raise awareness about the issues they care about.
In a statement accompanying the announcement, Goodell said the league wanted to eliminate criticism that suggested the protests were unpatriotic.
New York Jets chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson says that he'll pay any fines assessed to his players should they decide to kneel outside of the locker room during the playing of the national anthem. They have filed grievances against the league saying they have been blackballed due to their protest.