NFL Players Must Stand for the National Anthem

The NFL and all 32 owners came to anonymous decision to require all players and personnel to stand for the national anthem if on the field.

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The NFL and its owners have officially approved a new national anthem policy that will require all players and team personnel to stand for the national anthem if they are present on the field. However, each person will have the option to remain in the locker room until the anthem is over if they prefer.

With details still emerging from the new anthem policy, it is determined that teams will be subjected to a hefty fine if players or any type of personnel display any sort of “disrespect” during the playing of the national anthem. Official on field attendees cannot show any attempt to sit or kneel, as some players made popular over the last couple NFL seasons.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell met with media on Wednesday and spoke on the updated policy.

“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.” Said Goodell on Wednesday. 

The proposal was given to every team owner during the NFL’s spring meeting and was unanimously passed by ALL 32 NFL OWNERS!!!

The policy change came after an official league meeting in Atlanta on Wednesday.

“We want people to be respectful to the national anthem. We want people to stand. That’s all personnel, and make sure they treat this moment in a respectful fashion. That’s something we think we owe. We have been very sensitive in making sure we give players choices, but we do believe that that moment is important and one we are going to focus on.” Said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

NFL officials along with team owners have spent months dissecting options that would serve as a compromise to both sides in this anthem dilemma. The main goal by the NFL and their representatives was to eradicate the disrespectful actions of sitting and kneeling while stopping short of requiring standing attendance.

Last season, multiple players followed former San Francisco 49ers QB, Colin Kapernick’s protest attempts and chose to take a knee during the playing of the national anthem to shed light on police brutality, and overall racial inequality in our country. This started a firestorm among the NFL, the owners, and their fans, with many left feeling disrespected as boycotts started at historic rates. With game ratings plummeting at record lows, the NFL decided to make the necessary rule change to uphold the respect our military deserves.

Previous national anthem policy required players to be on the field, but technically only said they “should” stand for the flag and the anthem.

“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.” Said Roger Goodell during Wednesday’s press conference.

As anticipated, the NFL Players Association has already shown their distaste for the new policy, which was reached without any of their input. The NFL’s updated anthem policy is technically an adjustment to NFL game operations, thus it does not need to be collectively bargained.

 “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 vote by NFL club CEOs today contradicts the statements made to our player leadership by Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Chairman of the NFL’s Management Council John Mara about the principles, values and patriotism of our League.” The NFLPA said in a statement on Wednesday.

After last year’s boycott of NFL games by thousands of fans, the organization felt the real hit in their pockets. The NFL’s bottom line was affected, which resulted in a rule change that is in favor of the people that keep the NFL a successful multi-billion dollar business…THE FANS!!!

This rule change is the proper move for the NFL, truly offering the fair compromise to the fans that feel disrespected, along with the players and officials trying to spread their “message.” This is a simple option offered up by the NFL, and frankly, it should have been adopted much earlier. It would have prevented so much criticism, and would have saved the NFL a monster headache.