Fans and athletes react to NFL's new anthem rules

In the fallout of the league's new policy, there were widespread opinions, from everyone from President Donald Trump to fans to current players.

Kahron Spearman

The NFL unveiled a new policy on Wednesday unanimously approved by the leagues' owners requiring all players and team personnel on the field to stand during the national anthem, with an option of staying in the locker room if they choose.


However, any team member who does anything other than stand if on the field for the anthem will be penalized. 


Of course, there were widespread opinions, from everyone from the president to fans to current players.

This is fear of a diminished bottom line. It's also fear of a president turning his base against a corporation. This is not patriotism. Don't get it confused. These owners don't love America more than the players demonstrating and taking real action to improve it. It also lets you, the fan, know where our league stands.

Chris Long
Defensive end, Philadelphia Eagles

Philadephia Eagles defensive end Chris Long had pointed words for the NFL.

"I will continue to be committed to affecting change with my platform," he said as part of his statement. "I'm someone who's always looked at the anthem as a declaration of ideals, including the right to peaceful protest. Our league continues to fall short on this issue."

Teammate and Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins said "everyone loses when voices get stifled," but remains undeterred in his mission. 

"While I disagree with this decision, I will not let it silence me or stop me from fighting," said Jenkins. "The national conversation around race in America that NFL players forced over the past two years will persist as we continue to use our voices, our time and our money to create a more fair and just criminal justice system, end police brutality and foster better educational opportunities for communities of color and those struggling in this country."


He went on to add, "For me, this has never been about taking a knee, raising a fist or anyone's patriotism but doing what we can to affect real change for real people."