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.
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