*Change has come to the National Football League and as to be expected, not everyone is happy with this latest move. Especially the players. Today, the league made sweeping changes to its national-anthem policy in a bid to quell a controversy that has rattled the league for two years and drew the ire of the orange a-hole in the White House.
The new policy, which was met with some criticism from the NFL Players Association, also allows individual teams to enact their own policies concerning player protests during the anthem.
Here’s more from ESPN:
NFL owners have unanimously approved a new national anthem policy that requires players to stand if they are on the field during the performance but gives them the option to remain in the locker room if they prefer, it was announced Wednesday.
The policy subjects teams to a fine if a player or any other team personnel do not show respect for the anthem. That includes any attempt to sit or kneel, as dozens of players have done during the past two seasons. Those teams will also have the option to fine any team personnel, including players, for the infraction.
“We want people to be respectful of the national anthem,” commissioner Roger Goodell said. “We want people to stand — that’s all personnel — and make sure they treat this moment in a respectful fashion. That’s something we think we owe. [But] we were also very sensitive to give players choices.”
All 32 owners approved the policy, which will be part of the NFL’s game operations manual and thus not subject to collective bargaining. The NFL Players Association said in a statement that it will review the policy and “challenge any aspect” that is inconsistent with the CBA.
After spending months in discussions, and another three hours over two days at the league’s spring meetings, owners believe this found a compromise that will end sitting or kneeling with an edict that stops short of requiring every player to stand.
We hear the owners, however, had been divided on how to extricate the league from that criticism. Some owners, including the Dallas Cowboys’ Jerry Jones and the Houston Texans’ Bob McNair, wanted all players to stand. Others, such as the New York Jets’ Christopher Johnson, wanted to avoid any appearance of muzzling players.
That’s the gist of the situation. Get the full story at ESPN.