WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- The National Football League has announced on Wednesday new official rule against kneeling during the national anthem for the upcoming season.
- Players who will be on the field when “The Star-Spangled Banner” is played will be required to stand.
- Teams whose players choose not to stand on the field will be fined by the NFL.
After a year of disagreement inside the NFL, team owners have reached an agreement with a new policy, garnering a unanimous vote from 31 of the league’s owners. The league has 32 teams but the San Francisco 49ers abstained.
Jed York, the C.E.O. of the San Francisco 49ers explained that he abstained from voting because he wanted to discuss the new policy with his players first.
Under the new policy, players have the option of staying behind the locker room during the national anthem. But if players choose to be on the field before the game when the anthem is played, they will be required to stand.
If a player or team employee chooses not to stand, that player’s franchise will be fined by the NFL. It is the team’s prerogative to fine their own players if they kneel.
“The Commissioner will impose appropriate discipline on league personnel who do not stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem,” NFL’s official statement said.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly called on the NFL last year to punish players who kneel during the national anthem.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, Get that son of a bitch off the field right now!” Trump said in September.
“Clearly our objective of the league and to all 32 clubs, which was unanimous, is that we want people to be respectful of the national anthem,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said.
“We want people to stand, that’s all personnel, and make sure we treat this moment in a respectful fashion. That’s something we think we owe. … I think the general public has a very strong view of what respect for the flag is. We have language in our policy that talks about that.”
“There’s been incredible engagement with the players,” Goodell added.
However, the NFL Players Association issued a statement regarding their displeasure with the new policy.
“The vote by NFL club CEOs today contradicts the statements made to our player leadership by Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Chairman of the NFL’s Management Council John Mara about the principles, values and patriotism of our League,” the union said.
“Our union will review the new ‘policy’ and challenge any aspect of it that is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement.”
Players kneel during the national anthem to protest police brutality, social injustice and racial inequality in their communities.
Source: Yahoo Sports