Kneeling Is In: NFL Backpedals On Anti-Kneeling Policy
New York, NY – The National Football League (NFL) has shelved their recently released policy that banned kneeling during the National Anthem.
The announcement was made Thursday night, just hours after details of the Miami Dolphins’ new kneeling policy became public.
The league and the NFL Players Association released a joint statement that said they were in negotiations about the new policy.
"The NFL and NFLPA, through recent discussions, have been working on a resolution to the anthem issue. In order to allow this constructive dialogue to continue, we have come to a standstill agreement on the NFLPA's grievance and on the NFL's anthem policy,” the statement said. “No new rules relating to the anthem will be issued or enforced for the next several weeks while these confidential discussions are ongoing.”
"The NFL and NFLPA reflect the great values of America, which are repeatedly demonstrated by the many players doing extraordinary work in communities across our country to promote equality, fairness and justice,” the statement continued. “Our shared focus will remain on finding a solution to the anthem issue through mutual, good faith commitments, outside of litigation.”
On May 23, the NFL announced the adoption of a new policy that will fine teams and league personnel who do not “stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem,” FOX News reported.
The new policy included no on-the-field penalties, but instead would have fined the teams, and let individual team management determine how to handle the discipline for the player.
“A club will be fined by the League if its personnel are on the field and do not stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem,” the new policy specifically stated.
The new policy included the edict that “all team and league personnel on the field shall stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.”
The policy also clarified that “personnel who choose not to stand for the Anthem may stay in the locker room or in a similar location off the field until after the Anthem has been performed.”
The NFL’s owners have been working furiously to stop the free-fall of football viewership in the United States that started when players began kneeling in protest during the playing of the National Anthem at the beginning of games.
Despite the endless stroking of player egos in the newly-written policy, the player’s union complained that they were not consulted.
"The NFL chose to not consult the union in the development of this new 'policy.' NFL players have shown their patriotism through their social activism, their community service, in support of our military and law enforcement and yes, through their protests to raise awareness about the issues they care about," the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) said in a statement.
None of the individual team policies for disciplining players who violated the National Anthem policy had been made public until the Associated press obtained a copy of the one submitted the Miami Dolphins, CNBC reported.
The Dolphins classified anthem protests as No. 16 under a large list of "conduct detrimental to the club," all of which could lead to a paid or unpaid suspension, a fine or both, according to the Associated Press.
"Players who are on the field during the Anthem performance must stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem," the policy read, CNBC reported.
On the flip side, Miami can choose not to suspend or fine a player guilty of "conduct detrimental to the club."
CNBC reported that other violations considered “conduct detrimental to the club” included drug use or possession, gambling, breaking curfew, and riding motorcycles as a driver or passenger from the start of camp until the last game of the season.
The Dolphins defended their new policy by saying they had to submit something and it wasn’t a done deal.
"The NFL required each team to submit their rules regarding the anthem before their players reported to training camp. We will address this issue once the season starts. All options are still open,” Miami wrote in a statement.