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NFL moves to prohibit players from kneeling during National Anthem

Today the NFL owners got together and decided the keep the protesting NFL players out of the public eye. The new policy will require that all players on the field stand for the National Anthem, adding that players who do not wish to stand are to stay in the locker room.

The past couple seasons, several players around the league have kneeled during the playing of the National Anthem in protest of racial profiling and bias in the criminal justice system.

This led to the man holding the office of the presidency at an Alabama rally to attack the kneeling players and scream that the NFL “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!”

That display calling for NFL players to be silenced or have their employment terminated naturally drew backlash from players across the league, including the Raiders, who were in Washington that week and had most of the team sit on the bench with arms locked during the anthem.

Before and after that league-wide demonstration, most teams had a handful of players who sat or kneeled for the National Anthem. Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch chose simply not to stand. He is a man of few words with regard to the media and certainly will not make any verbal political statements, but he’s not one for forced patriotism.

In the new policy, the league is putting it to individual teams as to how they choose to handle it, but the league will enforce the US Department of Defense’s investment in them via a fine to the club should a player be caught kneeling or sitting during the National Anthem.

Here is the full memo put out by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell:

The NFLPA had a quick response to this decision by the NFL owners, putting the word “policy” in quotation marks and vowing to “challenge any aspect of it that is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement.”

This is being touted by some as a compromise, but NFLPA Assistant Executive Director for External Affairs doesn’t see it that way.

Many in the media had some strong reactions to the new rule as well.

“You’ll know it when you see it” apparently includes a lot more than kneeling.

Suffice to say, there will be lawyers.