The NFL has announced it is putting a pause on a new policy requiring players to either stand for the National Anthem or stay in the locker room.
The NFL Players Association (NFLPA) and the league released a joint statement putting the new rules on pause after there was backlash over the Miami Dolphins’ potential disciplinary measures.
— NFLPA (@NFLPA) July 20, 2018
“The NFL and NFLPA, through recent discussions, have been working on a resolution to the anthem issue,” the statement said. It continued:
In order to allow this constructive dialogue to continue, we have come to a standstill agreement on the NFLPA’s grievance and on the NFL’s anthem policy.
The NFL and NFLPA reflect the great values of America, which are repeatedly demonstrated by the many players doing extraordinary work in communities across our country to promote equality, fairness and justice.
Our shared focus will remain on finding a solution to the anthem issue through mutual, good faith commitments, outside of litigation.
The new policy was introduced after many criticized NFL players for kneeling during the anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality. However, the policy caught a wave of backlash from the players union:
— Fox News (@FoxNews) July 10, 2018
Virtually from the moment the new anthem policy was rolled out in May, the NFL Players Association has made its displeasure clear, saying the commissioner and team owners failed to consult players and contradicted assurances they’d offered the union. https://t.co/tmOvFBd5SG
— NPR (@NPR) July 10, 2018
While many spoke out about the new policy’s restriction on kneeling, President Trump, one of the biggest supporters of standing for the anthem, felt the rule wasn’t tough enough:
The NFL is now thinking about a new idea – keeping teams in the Locker Room during the National Anthem next season. That’s almost as bad as kneeling! When will the highly paid Commissioner finally get tough and smart? This issue is killing your league!…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2017
Despite the criticism, the league hopes to resolve the issue without controversy. However, it’s worth asking whether the NFL is focusing on the right issue, given the many sexual misconduct allegations its players have faced over the years.
There is no information on whether they will reinstate the rule or if they will create a new one, and no date for when that could happen.
May not want to hold your breath.