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Report: NFL Owners On Verge Of Approving New National Anthem Policy

Ryan Mayer
(CBS Local) – The NFL owners have been working throughout the past several days to attempt to figure out what to do (if anything) about players protesting during the national anthem. According to a new report from ESPN, the owners are set to vote on, and likely approve, a new policy requiring players to stand for the anthem…if they are on the field. From the report :
“NFL owners are on the verge of approving a new national anthem policy that requires players to stand if they are on the field during the performance but gives them the option to remain in the locker room if they prefer, sources told ESPN the Magazine’s Seth Wickersham on Wednesday.
The new policy will subject teams to a fine if a player or any other team personnel do not show appropriate respect for the anthem. That includes any attempt to kneel, as dozens of players have done during the past two seasons. Those teams will also have the option to fine any team personnel, including players, for the infraction.”
So, under the new policy, players would no longer be required to be on the field during the national anthem. If they are, and they choose to protest in any way, their team will be subject to fines. According to the piece, since this policy is part of the league’s game operations manual, it is not subject to negotiation with the player’s association. However, that doesn’t mean the NFLPA is necessarily going to accept the decision. NFLPA spokesman George Atallah issued a statement to ESPN saying the following.
“We were not consulted ahead of this meeting on any potential changes to the anthem policy. If there are changes to the policy that put players in a position where they could be disciplined or fined, we are going to do what we always do – fight anything that encroaches on players’ rights to the end.”
The new policy is different from one that was reportedly discussed yesterday into the early morning hours today in which 15-yard penalties would be handed out to players who kneeled during the anthem.

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