The has had a change of heart since last year‘s Fall League meetings where National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell said that the league would not force its players to stand for the national anthem. Though, the commissioner did say that the league would encourage that players do stand for the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” On Wednesday (May 23), the NFL owners, at the Spring League meetings, that would require players and personnel on the field to stand while the anthem is being sung.
What the policy entails
The policy was approved by team owners (San Francisco 49ers owner did not vote due to the lack of player involvement in the decision process).
The new national anthem policy says that all team personnel, including players, must stand during the singing of the national anthem. If there are players and personnel that choose not to stand, they must stay in their team‘s locker room.
The new set of guidelines also gives teams a chance to set their own individual rules to ensure that the proper respect for the anthem is being shown. Players choosing to continue to protest on the field will prompt the NFL to fine their team and be subject to a fine of their own. A player fine would come from the individual team itself.
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,” according to NFL.
Statement from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell
— NFL ()
NFLPA had a response
After the announcement of the new rule, the National Football League Players‘ Association (NFLPA) said it was not consulted about the talks of the new policy.
“The NFL chose to not consult the union in the development of this new ‘policy,‘” said in a statement posted on the NFLPA‘s official Twitter account.
— NFLPA ()
In response, Goodell plans to talk to the NFLPA about the new changes.
The president of the United States weighs in
In an interview with “Fox and Friends,” President Donald Trump responded when hearing about the news of the NFL‘s new stance by saying, “You have to stand proudly for the national anthem. You shouldn‘t be playing, you shouldn‘t be there. Maybe they shouldn‘t be in the country… the NFL owners did the right thing.”
“You have to stand proudly for the National Anthem. You shouldn‘t be playing, you shouldn‘t be there. Maybe they shouldn‘t be in the country…the NFL owners did the right thing” -President
— FOX & friends ()
to player protests during the 2017 NFL season.
During a speech last year, the President suggested that players should be fired for not respecting the performance of the national anthem. All of this stems from the 2016 NFL season when then 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided to protest social inequality by kneeling during the national anthem. Kaepernick did not play in 2017, but player protests excelled last season.