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The NFL will have at least one team to fine after instituting a punishment for kneeling during the national anthem.
On Wednesday, Tennessee Titans defensive lineman Jurrell Casey told CNN he would kneel regardless of the NFL's policy.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 18, 2018
“I'm going to take a fine this year, why not?” he said during an event in London. “I'm going to protest during the flag. That's what I'm going to say now.”
The NFL's policy, announced in May, states that teams would be fined if their players and personnel were on the field and didn't “show respect for the flag.” Teams may also enforce their own penalties for players who do not follow the policy.
It adds that league personnel will face “appropriate discipline” from Commissioner Roger Goodell for not respecting the flag:
Statement from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell pic.twitter.com/1Vn7orTo1R
— NFL (@NFL) May 23, 2018
The new policy came after intense scrutiny from President Donald Trump as well as public backlash to players kneeling during the anthem.
In defense of the NFL players, some argued that they weren't disrespecting the flag but instead were using the national anthem to protest racial injustice and police brutality in the United States.
Regardless of their reasons, however, the NFL took a massive hit to its pocketbook amid the protests. As IJR previously noted, NFL merchandise sales dropped 20 percent, ticket sales plummeted, and ad revenue decreased by $30 million.