—blogged by @lovelikejhoney
National anthem protests surrounding the #NFL initially began during the 2016-2017 season by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback #ColinKaepernick, who started kneeling during the anthem to protest ongoing police brutality. Since then, the kneel and other protest variations, have been adopted by other players.
There has been much debate whether players are required to stand for the anthem and it has even gotten the attention of U.S. President Donald Trump who said players who don’t want to stand for the national anthem “shouldn’t be playing” and even more, “shouldn’t be in the country.”
In May, the NFL appointed a policy stating that it would penalize teams and league staff who do not “stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem” while on the field.
League Commissioner, Roger Goodell, clarified in a statement that the new policy withdrew the requirement for players to stand on the field during the song and anyone who decided “not to stand for the Anthem” could remain in the locker room until its conclusion.
Additionally each team was instructed to insert an anthem policy before the 2018-2019 season begins, the #MiamiDolphins being one of the first teams to do so.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
“The NFL required each team to submit their rules regarding the anthem before reporting for training camp,” a Dolphins source told AP News. “Since the rookies reported on Wednesday, [the Dolphins] had to have a policy in place.”
A multi-game suspension is reportedly among the possible consequences for Miami Dolphins players who choose to stage an on-field protest during the national anthem in the upcoming NFL season.
In the team’s discipline document, a copy of which was given to the Associated Press, a line regarding “Proper Anthem Conduct” was added to behavior considered “detrimental to the club,” alongside other violations such as gambling, drug use and/or possession, motorcycle riding and more. Everything included on this list is reportedly subject to a potential paid or unpaid suspension up to four games, a fine or both.
“Players who are on the field during the Anthem performance must stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem,” the final item on the list of “detrimental” conduct said.
The Dolphins and other league sources provided ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington with a similar explanation, however, he said a source from the team told him that the Dolphins have “no intention of suspending a player for four games based on any type of anthem protest.”
Since then, the NFL Players Association filed a grievance against the league over the policy, arguing that it infringed on the athletes’ rights.
The NFL and NFLPA released a joint statement Thursday night saying that “through recent discussions” the two entities “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.”
Regarding the standstill, the statement elaborated that, “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. Our shared focus will remain on finding a solution to the anthem issue through mutual, good faith commitments, outside of litigation,” the statement concluded.
How do you think the NFL and NFLPA will handle the controversy? Comment below!