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NFL anthem policy requires players to stand if on sideline

Larry Brown Sports logo Larry Brown Sports 5/23/2018 Steve DelVecchio

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The NFL and its owners have come to an agreement on a new policy regarding the national anthem, and it very clearly states that players are prohibited from kneeling during “The Star-Spangled Banner” if they choose to be on the sideline.

The new policy, which was released on Wednesday, gives players the option of remaining in the locker room during the national anthem. However, those who choose to take the field are require to stand, and their respective teams will be subject to a fine if they do not.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the new policy was “unanimously adopted” by all of the league’s owners.

NFL teams have been given the freedom to enact their own “work rules” regarding the anthem, which means they could also fine players who choose to take the field but still protest.

The new policy still seems very vague, so it’s possible there could be more issues going forward. While kneeling has very clearly been banned, the NFL has seemingly given teams and league officials the go-ahead to determine what they consider behavior that disrespects the flag. Players in the past have taken part in political demonstrations that do not involve kneeling, so it’s unclear how those will be handled in 2018.

Related slideshow: Top 30 NFL players over 30 (provided by Yardbarker)

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