football

NFL owners confirm penalty for kneeling teams

The new policy subjects teams to a fine, from the league, if a player or any other team personnel fail to show appropriate respect for the anthem, including any attempt to sit or kneel.


Kahron Spearman


NFL owners have unanimously approved a new policy requiring players to stand if they are on the field during the national anthem, but gives them the option of remaining in the locker room if they prefer. 

 

The new policy subjects teams to a fine, from the league, if a player or any other team personnel fail to show appropriate respect for the anthem, including any attempt to sit or kneel. 

This season, all league and team personnel shall stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem. Personnel who choose not to stand for the Anthem may stay in the locker room until after the Anthem has been performed. We believe today's decision will keep our focus on the game and the extraordinary athletes who play it -- and on our fans who enjoy it.

Roger Goodell
via NFL statement

In turn, any team fined for an infraction will also have the option to penalize any team personnel committing the act.

 

Goodell, though, appears to be rested in an interesting, if confusing, middle-ground of sorts:

 

"The efforts by many of our players sparked awareness and action around issues of social justice that must be addressed. The platform that we have created together is certainly unique in professional sports and quite likely in American business. We are honored to work with our players to drive progress.

 

"It was unfortunate that on-field protests created a false perception among many that thousands of NFL players were unpatriotic. This is not and was never the case."

On the one hand, the league will fine teams for uncooperating players, yet Goodell acknowledges the protesting players weren't "unpatriotic" in their actions.

 

This new policy will likely add more eyes and critique to a situation already steeped in controversy along various fronts and sociopolitical contexts. 

 

The players' union says it will "fight" for its players wherever possible, though the NFL adjustments to rules don't require collective bargaining.

SOU  RCES