New NFL Policy: Teams and Personnel Will Be Fined if They Don't Stand During National Anthem

In a move that surprised players and personnel alike, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced that fines will be given out for kneeling during the National Anthem.

In a recent statement by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, it was announced that the league will fine teams and personnel who will not “stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem". The new policy, that surprised players and personnel alike, reads that "The 32-member clubs of the National Football League have reaffirmed their strong commitment to work alongside our players to strengthen our communities and advance social justice."

New NFL national anthem policy
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According to Goodell, the new policy comes "in concert with the NFL's ongoing commitment to local communities and our country". The new policy sets requirements for players and personnel:
  • "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".

New NFL national anthem policy

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The decision to instill the policy came after former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick got down on his knee During the 2016-2017 NFL season as a protest against police brutality. Kaepernick's protest sparked the support of fellow players, who started kneeling during the National Anthem.

The protest did not go unnoticed as it caused an uproar that caused President Trump to criticize the players' actions. NFL players responded in support of Kaepernick, who they believe was blackballed following his protest.

New NFL national anthem policy
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A statement by the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) was released and read: "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,"


New NFL national anthem policy
Source: gettyimages

The league also stated that players do have to stand at the side lines during the National Anthem, and that they can stay in the locker room during the ceremony.