New NFL Rule Effectively Requires Players To Stand For National Anthem

NY Jets CEO, Christopher Johnson, Says He'll Pay NFL Fines For Players Who Kneel During The National Anthem

Unveiling a new policy after months of controversy and debate over players taking a knee or otherwise making statements during the national anthem, the NFL says all of its athletes and staff "shall stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem" if they're on the field.

The NFL said teams would be fined if personnel on the field do not participate in the anthem ceremony, although it did not state the amount they would be penalized.

The fining or punishment of players and other personnel would be dictated by the individual teams.

The league has attempted to strike a careful balance among several constituencies, including more hard-line owners such as Jerry Jones of the Cowboys and Robert McNair of the Texans, who have demanded that players stand, and more liberal owners including Jeffrey Lurie of the Super Bowl champion Eagles and Jets chairman Christopher Johnson, who have not stood in the way of player protests during the anthem.

Goodell said the league is still committed to working with players to "advance the goals of justice and fairness in all corners of our society". Kaepernick continued the practice throughout the season and was joined by teammates in protesting racial inequality and police bruality.

Many other National Football League players have chose to join the movement last season by taking a knee or sitting for the anthem, including Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and defensive end Khalil Mack, Eagles lineman Michael Bennett and Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane.

That is the new policy announced in a statement by Commissioner Roger Goodell on Wednesday.

The NFL Player's Association also issued a statement in response to the news, saying that they had not been consulted on the matter and would review the new policy and be ready to challenge any aspect that they viewed as "inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement".

"We're proud of our country".

NY Jets CEO, Christopher Johnson, Says He'll Pay NFL Fines For Players Who Kneel During The National Anthem
New NFL Rule Effectively Requires Players To Stand For National Anthem

"We encourage (players) to stand, but we're not requiring you to do anything", he said.

According to the ESPN, since this policy is part of the league's game operations manual, it is not subject to negotiation with the player's association.

Teams now can fine players for failing to show respect for the anthem - that reportedly includes kneeling, which Colin Kaepernick started as a form of protest in the preseason of 2016. Those who are not comfortable standing for the anthem have the right to stay off the field. The Browns went so far as to hold a social justice summit the day before the draft to bring together socially-minded players and community non-profit and government leaders.

The issue got more heated previous year when President Donald Trump said that owners should fire players who disrespected the flag.

Both have filed collusion grievances against the NFL. About a dozen Ravens, along with franchise icon Ray Lewis, knelt during the anthem before the team's game in London against the Jacksonville Jaguars last September.

Jed York, the chief executive officer of the 49ers, told reporters that his team abstained from the vote. "You can express yourself, but we want you to stand because you want to stand".

"They know I will stand up for them", York said.

"We've listened to a lot of different viewpoints including our fans over the past year and this policy is an attempt to get to a place where we have respected everybody's point of view as best as we could". It looks the other way from the idea that it was never about the anthem itself. "And that's a moment that we want to make sure is done in a very respectful fashion".

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