The NFL enacted a new policy on Wednesday, stating that players are required to stand for the national anthem on the field, but if a player does not want to do so, they must stay in the locker room or they will be fined for not standing.
"The policy adopted today was approved in concert with the NFL’s ongoing commitment to local communities and our country — one that is extraordinary in its scope, resources, and alignment with our players," commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "We are dedicated to continuing our collaboration with players to advance the goals of justice and fairness in all corners of our society.
"The efforts by many of our players sparked awareness and action around issues of social justice that must be addressed. The platform that we have created together is certainly unique in professional sports and quite likely in American business. We are honored to work with our players to drive progress."
The policy effectively ends a two-season long debate about whether or not players should be allowed to protest during the national anthem or not which, on the surface, would be a good thing for the NFL.
However, the league did not consult the NFLPA on the matter and many players are not happy with the restrictions of the new policy, creating a wave of frustration surrounding the league's decision.
According to Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman, the NFL reached the decision they did because the league is absolutely terrified of President Trump.
Why is the NFL handling this so poorly, crafting a policy based on fear, not practicality? The answer remains clear, according to a variety of league sources: an intense fear of President Donald Trump.
"Our league," one team official said, "is f--king terrified of Trump. We're scared of him."
What does the NFL fear? It fears boycotts of games. It fears people not watching its product on television. It fears people not buying its products.
The NFLPA issued the following statement on the matter, calling out Goodell and the league office for their poor handling of the matter.
The policy also states that each team "may develop its own work rules" as long as they fall within guidelines and that Goodell will be responsible for handing out punishment for violations.Back to the NFL Newsfeed