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NFL, union hit pause on anthem policy

From left: Miami Dolphins players Jelani Jenkins, Arian Foster, Michael Thomas, and Kenny Stills kneel during the singing of the national anthem before a game on Sept. 11, 2017, against the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle. Associated Press/Photo by Stephen Brashear (file)

NFL, union hit pause on anthem policy

The National Football League and the NFL Players Association agreed Thursday to freeze any actions related to the national anthem and related behavior rules for players while the two sides tried to work out their differences. The union filed a grievance last week against the NFL’s new policy of requiring players to stand during the pregame playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” if they are on the field or the sidelines. The NFLPA said the rule infringed on players’ rights and violated the union’s collective bargaining agreement with the league. Players who want to protest must stay in the locker room under the policy. Teams can decide how to punish offenders, but they had to report their discipline plans to the league before players reported to training camp, which began this week for some teams. The Associated Press learned Thursday that the Miami Dolphins had issued a team policy this week calling for the suspension of up to four games for players protesting the anthem on the field.

Demonstrations during the anthem started in 2016 when then–San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick knelt to protest police brutality. President Donald Trump and others labeled the protests unpatriotic, and angry debates broke out nationwide over the practice.

Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital's managing editor. She is a graduate of World Journalism Institute, the Missouri School of Journalism, and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Lynde resides with her family in Wichita, Kansas.



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I think the players have the right to protest anything they want--on their own time.

From the point when they show up at the stadium to suit up, they are on their Employers' time.  I believe the spineless NFL owners are so scared of offending the "talent," they have refrained from "infringing on the players' rights," by disciplining them.

Wouldn't bother me a bit to see attendance and TV viewing of the games drop so much, teams start going broke.  It has always seemed ridiculous to me anyway that such huge attention is paid to these games that fortunes are being made by the owners, players, and advertisers. 

Or maybe I'm just some kind of "not a real American."


Players "rights" vs. the almighty dollar. It's hard to know how many viewers the NFL will have to lose before they get it. These two 50-year fans have been drained of all but a drop of enthusiasm for the "sport".