The NFL passed a new policy on May 23 that mandates players on the field or sidelines to stand during the national anthem or face a team fine, through it permits players to remain in the locker rooms if they choose, according to The New York Times.
The policy will allow individual teams the agency to enforce their own regulations regarding player conduct and the national anthem.
“This season, all league and team personnel shall stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “Personnel who choose not to stand for the anthem may stay in the locker room until after the anthem has been performed.”
In the 2016 season, many players followed in the footsteps of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who began kneeling during the national anthem as a form of protest against police brutality and racial inequality sparking a national debate.
In response to the policy change, the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) said they were not consulted and "will review the new ‘policy’ and challenge any aspect of it that is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement."
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