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NFL Adopts New Anthem Policy to Quell Player Protests

NFL Adopts New Anthem Policy to Quell Player Protests

Players claim they were not consulted and immediately threatened to challenge the policy. They claim it contradicts previous statements by Commissioner Roger Goodell made to the NFLPA leadership.

The NFL took a step backwards on Wednesday in its efforts to bridge the divide between the league and players who knelt in protest during the national anthem.

George Atallah, director of external affairs at the NFL Players Association, said the league created the policy with no consultation from the players association.

York said he meant to meet with his players to discuss the change. He will pay their fines.

"Our players tend to focus on the games, which is what I think fans want", Bettman said in an interview in October, when several National Hockey League players openly contemplated joining the protests.

"They know I will stand up for them", York said. Critics of the protests, including Donald Trump, believed them to be unpatriotic. There are some big, complicated issues that we're all struggling with, and our players are on the front lines.

Johnson noted that he doesn't want to "come down on [players] like a ton of bricks". "Our focus is not on imposing any club rules, fines or restrictions".

"He got that feedback, and I think his message has been lost". We are dedicated to continuing our collaboration with players to advance the goals of justice and fairness in all corners of our society.

"The platform that we have created together is certainly unique in professional sports and quite likely in American business", Goodell said. This is not and was never the case. Players who choose to stay in the locker room still become pariahs in the eyes of the angry, vocal fans the league is placating and, more importantly, to team owners (31 of 32 of whom are - shock! - white).

"To make a decision that strong you would hope the players would have input on it, but obviously not, so we have to deal with it as players", Browns quarterback Tyrod Taylor said about the policy.

"If anyone is on the field and is disrespectful to the anthem or the flag, there will be a fine from the league against the team", Goodell told reporters.

Kaeperick has not played since that season and filed a grievance against the National Football League that owners colluded to keep him off the field because of his stance.

Houston Texans linebacker Lamarr Houston and cornerback Kevin Johnson kneel during the national anthem before kickoff against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Oct. 29, 2017. It was unclear Wednesday whether players holding a fist above their head while standing during the anthem would be a fineable offense.

In a statement accompanying the announcement, Goodell said the league wanted to eliminate criticism that suggested the protests were unpatriotic.

Art Rooney II, the president of the Pittsburgh Steelers, said the policy was the result of extensive consultation. "I think the main thing out of all of it is that each ballclub has an open communication between the players and the ownership on the issues that are going on in the community and trying to change it". But the league also cleared the way for teams to set their own workplace policies, raising the specter of an even more convoluted approach to an issue that has dominated conversation away from the field.

This week, he praised NASCAR for its universal policy in which drivers and crew stand during the pre-race playing of the national anthem. If they don't want to stand, they will have the option to remain in the locker room.

Twice last season, in games at Arizona and Indianapolis, more than 20 players from the 49ers knelt on the sideline during the national anthem.

While York has not encouraged player protests, he has been among the most sympathetic owners of their right to do so. Well, just a few weeks ago, he came out and said he regretted apologizing and insisted it wasn't about the protests. York said that all owners that voted in in the process supported the change.

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