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NFL Requires Players To Stand For National Anthem

26 May, 2018, 00:50 | Author: Carla Brady
  • Colin Kaepernick right and Eric Reid kneel in protest during the national anthem prior to playing in 2016

We have very smart people. That's something that we think we owe.

For NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and owners, however, the decision struck a balance between respecting the views of players who object to standing for "The Star-Spangled Banner" and those offended by athletes using the anthem ceremony to further a political agenda. On Wednesday, team owners voted to impose fines if players kneel.

But Trump downplayed his personal role in the new National Football League rule, saying "I think the people pushed it forward - this was not me".

The owners spent several hours addressing the contentious issue - which has reached all the way to the White House.

Other players took up the cause, and the gesture carried on during the 2017 season even after Kaepernick left the 49ers and failed to land a job with another team.

The NFL Players Association, which negotiates player salaries, has vowed to challenge the new policy, which it says violates its collective bargaining agreement with the league and contradicts past statements by Goodell, who has not advocated punishment for players who protest.

Colin Kaepernick has been unable to find another job in the NFL after his contract expired with the San Francisco 49ers
GETTY IMAGES Colin Kaepernick has been unable to find another job in the NFL after his contract expired with the San Francisco 49ers

Responding to the decision Wednesday, the president of the NFL Players Union, which represents current and former players, said in a statement, "The balance between the rights of every citizen in our great country gets crossed when someone is told to just 'shut up and play'". If they want to kneel, they have to do so in the locker room, the National Football League has decreed. "Personnel who choose not to stand for the anthem may stay in the locker room until after the anthem has been performed".

With the NFL's leadership reluctant to issue a blanket decree ordering players to stand for the anthem, the deal approved Wednesday represents a compromise.

The NFL has spent months agonizing over players refusing to stand during the National Anthem, but solutions were everywhere. "We must continue to work together in creative and dynamic ways to make our communities stronger and better with equal opportunities for all".

"I think the people pushed it forward, this was not me", Trump said. He said owners should fire anyone who kneels during the anthem at a rally in Alabama last September.

"I don't think people should be staying in the locker rooms, but still I think it's good", he said. "There's no penalty for that, but we're going to encourage all of them to be on field. We'd like all of them to be on the field and to stand at attention". Goodell's statement echoes this misinterpretation, saying kneeling is disrespectful to "the flag". In this great country of ours, there are so many people who are hurting and marginalized, which is why I am proud of our players for continuously working to influence positive change.



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