Kneeling Is In: NFL Backpedals On Anti-Kneeling Policy

The Miami Dolphins' plan for the new National Anthem policy got leaked, and hours later, the NFL shelved the new rule.

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.

Comments (18)
No. 1-18
Cidcsp
Cidcsp

It isn’t that complicated. The players have a choice to stand or not stand and show respect for their country. The viewers and ticket holders have a choice on how they wish to respond to the teams core values regarding this country.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

The (not even) free fall of the NFL had little to do with kneeling. The big drop in NFL ratings is the same drop all TV is seeing because younger people aren't buying cable anymore.

Second, the NFL had a drop in viewership due to their unbalanced discipline issues and their glossing over of concussion protocol.

Riverrat34653
Riverrat34653

I'm not sure how you know this Hi but speaking for myself and over 50 close friends and relatives I can say that we quit watching football because of the actions of these players. Hockey has not become the favorite in our house.

Riverrat34653
Riverrat34653

*now

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@Riverrat34653 If you and your friends aren't in the 18 to 45 demographic, you're considered residual income. That's the REAL spending demographic for the NFL

it's part of my job to know entertainment trends. If you check the prices the NFL makes cable companies pay to show their games, and the price of tickets and merchandise, you'll see they are in absolutely no financial danger.

Owners are upset that their profits are lowe, but they definitely aren't in any kind of financial trouble.

NTPD935Ret
NTPD935Ret

I hope the NFL goes broke and all of those over paid, disrespectful “Sports Hero” lose their jobs and all they have! NFL=National Felon League. America will be a much better place when kids do not have these worthless fools to look up to.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@NTPD935Ret Underpaid*. They bring in hundreds of millions, probably billions, and get paid a fraction of their output.

LEO0301
LEO0301

@Hi_estComnDenomn - those players who think their paycheck is unfair certainly have the option not to play and get a real job. Most don't even qualify to be an Uber driver, so I'm sure their options are somewhat limited. There are companies like Amazon that make many billions of dollars each year who also pay their employees a fraction of their output. Of course, the players who are upset could start their own companies and take the risk of being a business owner like the NFL owners have.

The players are employees of the teams. Like most work places, there are rules to follow. If you don't like the rules, find another job in a company that have rules more to your liking. It's a pretty simple concept even for an NFL player.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@LEO0301 Amazon is not equivalent. Amazon workers aren't making the product, nor are they who customers patronize Amazon for. Your comparison is like saying the concessions staff at a football game is underpaid. That may be so, but concessions is not what customers go to games for.

The athlete is the only reason to go see a game live. They are the only reason the league exists. Based on how much money the NFL makes, the average NFL player is grossly underpaid.

LEO0301
LEO0301

@Hi_estComnDenomn - again, and I can't emphasize this enough, they are not slaves to the NFL. If they don't like their compensation, nothing is preventing them from leaving and finding another job. You and I both know that won't happen because the vast majority of these players would have a difficult time finding a high paying job using their brains instead of their brawn.

Oh, and by the way, I actually agree my comparison wasn't the best. Maybe acting would be better. Some movies bring in astronomical amounts of money, yet the actors only make a small percentage. Why? Because if the movie is a flop, the actor still gets paid but those who risked capital to make the movie are at a loss. Those who take risks frequently earn the most money. It's always been that way.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@LEO0301 Nah. When you realize you have the power in an agreement, you can start making changes in your interest. Plus these guys have dedicated their whole lives to this, so just walking away wouldn't make sense for the vast majority of players.

The NFLPA is finally starting to realize they have sway in this argument, and are pushing back against these rules. The NFL is scared, so they must back down. The players' process is distinctly American. You don't have to like it, but nothing they're doing is wrong.

LEO0301
LEO0301

@Hi_estComnDenomn - "dedicated their whole lives"?!?! You mean 10 years or so playing a kids game? A couple of years ago a white NFL player for the 49ers quit in his second season. He decided preservation of his brain was more important than a large salary. I was stunned by his decision but the more I thought about it the more respect I had for him. Most players wouldn't take that chance because they know it is next to impossible for them to make that kind of money doing work that requires them to use their brain. Now players are concerned about concussions and CTE but not enough to quit. The money is too good and so they risk it. The league has the power, not the players. In fact, I would venture to guess that the fans hold more power than the players. The union may have postponed the leagues decision about kneeling (which is the dumbest protest ever, but we are talking about football players, sooo) but it is temporary. The NFL is concerned about the true fans opinion and loss of revenue due to last years protests. You can claim all you want that there are other factors but none are as costly as pissing off the fans with kneeling during the anthem. It's disrespectful, and as I said above, stupid. If the league fails to take action, they will continue to lose revenue. I didn't watch a single game last year and I have many friends who joined me in my protest against the players and the NFL. The problem is that most of these guys are not smart enough to know who butters their bread.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@LEO0301 Yes, dedicated their whole lives, probably starting from about 5-6 years old. out of the hundreds of thousands of kids that play football, a few hundred are drafted or hired to practice teams a year.

The league will bend to the players and coaches, because without them there is no league. Also, it's not a kids' game. Part of the reason there are so many fat Americans is because of the belief that you should stop running around and enjoying yourself doing an activity when you grow up.

Caprice56
Caprice56

Bottom line is simple! They can choose to do whatever they want even if it violates NFL or team rules of conduct. I have the right to continue to not watch, buy fan gear, or support sponsors who support the lack of respect! This is a free country and we exercise our right to freedom of choice. As far as changing careers, as pointed out, many are not suited to do anything else, because football is all they every “trained” for and isn’t that just too sad for them. They can make the transition to Hollywood but I should point out that people show their displeasure there too!

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@LEO0301 Sports aren't kids games. Kids play sports, as they should. But that doesn't make sports only for kids.

I'd expect someone your size to think that though.

cspcapt
cspcapt

most of them will get arrested anyway