The NFL Players Association has filed a grievance with the NFL over the new national anthem policy.
The new policy, which was approved in May, orders players to stand during the national anthem if they are on the field or otherwise stay in the locker room until the anthem is over if they do not want to participate. In a statement the association wrote:
“Our union filed its non-injury grievance today on behalf of all players challenging the NFL’s recently imposed anthem policy. The union’s claim is that this new policy, imposed by the NFL’s governing body without consultation with the NFLPA, is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement and infringes on player rights. In advance of our filing today, we proposed to the NFL to begin confidential discussions with the NFLPA Executive Committee to find a solution to this issue instead of immediately proceeding with litigation. The NFL has agreed to proceed with those discussions and we look forward to starting them soon.”
The policy went into effect on May 24, but many criticize the NFL for not consulting the NFLPA before imposing the new rule; as the league referred to the new policy as a “compromise.” The national anthem protests were sparked after several Black men and women were becoming victims of police brutality. The NFLPA’s grievance will be looked at by an independent arbitrator.