NFL Freezes National Anthem Rules


Contributed by BreAnna Bell

With the Miami Dolphins facing backlash after submitting required paperwork to the NFL that included potential disciplinary measures for player protests during the national anthem, the league has decided to hit pause on its new policy.

The NFL and NFLPA released a joint statement Thursday stating that, “no new rules relating to the anthem will be issued or enforced for the next several weeks.”

The joint statement went on to say, “the NFL and NFLPA, through recent discussions, have been working on a resolution to the anthem issue. In order to allow this constructive dialogue to continue, we have come to a standstill agreement on the NFLPA’s grievance and on the NFL’s anthem policy. The NFL and NFLPA reflect the great values of America, which are repeatedly demonstrated by the many players doing extraordinary work in communities across our country to promote equality, fairness and justice. Our shared focus will remain on finding a solution to the anthem issue through mutual, good faith commitments, outside of litigation.”

In May, the NFL decided that teams would be fined if players chose to kneel in protest of the National Anthem while on the field. ESPN reports, the rule forbids players from sitting or taking a knee if they are on the field or sideline during the anthem but allows them to stay in the locker room if they wish. The league left the punishment of players up to the teams.

The policy was challenged this month in a grievance by the players’ union.

Apparently, as sources told ESPN, the NFL was prepared to release the statement Friday, but the announcement was pushed up due to the Miami Dolphins story and its negative response.

The Miami Dolphins turned in their paperwork, as all the teams will be required to do under the new ruling, saying that players could be suspended for up to four games, should they choose to protest the national anthem while on the field.

The joint statement will allow the focus to remain on football and provide time for a more clear plan, according to league sources.


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