In case you missed it, the National Football League has instituted a new rule addressing those players who would kneel or otherwise protest the pre-game playing of the National Anthem. Those protests, famously led by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick to protest racial inequality, extended for more than two seasons and caused many fans to leave the sport. In an effort to get those fans back, the League recently voted to punish players and teams, should these protests continue.
Check it out, from ESPN:
NFL owners have unanimously approved a new national anthem policy that requires players to stand if they are on the field during the performance but gives them the option to remain in the locker room if they prefer, it was announced Wednesday.
The policy subjects teams to a fine if a player or any other team personnel do not show respect for the anthem. That includes any attempt to sit or kneel, as dozens of players have done during the past two seasons to protest racial inequality and police brutality. Those teams also will have the option to fine any team personnel, including players, for the infraction.
“We want people to be respectful of the national anthem,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said, per the post. “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. [But] we were also very sensitive to give players choices.”
Here’s more, per Daily Wire:
In a statement put out by the NFL, the 32 teams agreed to the following requirements:
- “All team and league personnel on the field shall stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.”
- “The Game Operations Manual will be revised to remove the requirement that all players be on the field for the Anthem.”
- 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.”
- “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.”
- “Each club may develop its own work rules, consistent with the above principles, regarding its personnel who do not stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.”
- “The Commissioner will impose appropriate discipline on league personnel who do not stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem. “
While complimentary of the new rule, President Trump thinks more should happen to these players who refuse to honor the American flag and National Anthem.
President Donald Trump praised the NFL this week for its new rule requiring players on the field to stand for the national anthem, adding that those who protest during the anthem, “maybe you shouldn’t be in the country.”
“I think that’s good. I don’t think people should be staying in locker rooms, but still, I think it’s good,” the president told Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” in an interview that was taped Wednesday and aired Thursday morning. “You have to stand, proudly, for the national anthem or you shouldn’t be playing. You shouldn’t be there. Maybe you shouldn’t be in the country. You have to stand proudly for the national anthem. And the NFL owners did the right thing if that’s what they’ve done.”
“I think the people pushed it forward. This was not me. I brought it out. I think the people pushed it forward. This country’s very smart. We have very smart people,” the president said. “And, you know, that’s something ideally could have been taken care of when it first started. It would have been a lot easier. But if they did that, they’re doing the right thing.”
A pair of players from the Superbowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, safety Malcolm Jenkins and defensive end Chris Long, who have previously protested, said they will not let the new decision silence them.
— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) May 23, 2018
— Malcolm Jenkins (@MalcolmJenkins) May 23, 2018
Here’s more on Long, per Daily Wire:
Long has been outspoken about his contempt for President Trump. Before the 2018 Super Bowl, he announced that if the Eagles won, he would not visit the White House, snapping, “No, I’m not going to the White House. Are you kidding me?” The year before, as a member of the New England Patriots, who won the Super Bowl in 2017, he refused to participate in the White House visit, saying, “My son grows up, and I believe the legacy of our president is going to be what it is, I don’t want him to say, ‘Hey dad, why’d you go [to the White House] when you knew the right thing was to not go?'”
Check out this take on the new NFL rule, from Fox News’ Kennedy:
.@KennedyNation: “I understand the need for…protest in the country and the beauty and bravery of sacrificing your name and possible livelihood for your beliefs, but this is not what these players are doing. And whatever they were initially trying to achieve, they have failed.” pic.twitter.com/MR7fyewmod
— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) May 24, 2018