National Football League takes policy stand on anthem protests

NFL national anthem rules

It's certainly within the league's right to do so, but while NFL owners were doing their best Wednesday to shrink from the issues that trouble their players, another pro sports franchise - the Milwaukee Bucks - was doing the opposite.

Trump fueled the controversy further during a rally in Alabama in September when he said, "Wouldn't you love to see one of the National Football League owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say "Get that son of a b-- off the field right now"?"

However, players that are on the field during the national anthem are required to stand. Teams can be fined for players that do not follow this policy.

Speaking to Fox News' Brian Kilmeade Thursday morning, Trump praised the NFL for the new policy, which will require players to either stand for the national anthem or remain in the locker room. Where do you stand on this complicated subject? "You know, that's something ideally could have been taken care of when it first started, it would have been a lot easier, but if they did that, they did the right thing". Trump said on Monday.

CNN and Mike Pence debased themselves Wednesday by applauding President Trump for his tireless, fruitful efforts (via Twitter) to put an end to the most intractable conflict of our time: protests against racial injustice at professional football games. "I think the people pushed it forward".

Elsewhere, Trump suggested that players who protest the anthem shouldn't be in America.

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"The Democrats are sticking up for MS13", Trump said, adding: "There are stone cold killer, vicious killers", stating that people losing their children to violence perpetrated by gang members should never have happened.

After a season filled with controversy over players protesting peacefully by locking arms, kneeling or skipping the national anthem on the field, Trump lauded the NFL's decision to fine teams for players who might choose to continue their dissent this season.

Several players, majority black, have kneeled for the anthem since Colin Kaepernick declined to stand for it in 2016 as a way to protest police brutality and racism.

The NFL may distinguish those cases as they will argue that here they are losing money.

The civil rights organization National Action Network said it was planning a rally with community leaders and clergy to take place on Friday outside NFL headquarters in New York City. "This country is very smart, we have very smart people".

Any recourse to existing dispute procedures is likely to be futile because they are controlled by the Commissioner who was responsible for the policy.

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