NFL Players Might See New Rule about Standing for National Anthem

nfl national anthem

Owners of NFL teams are mulling over the idea of instating a rule requiring all players to stand up during the playing of the national anthem. In a conference call with members of the media Tuesday, Joe Lockhart, NFL spokesman, said that owners could soon discuss bringing the rule into effect.

In a statement to the Washington Post, Lockhart said:

“I think there will be a discussion about the entire issue, including the policy … I’m not going to predict what might happen.”

The NFL is not new to players demonstrating during the national anthem. Colin Kaepnick, former quarterback for the 49ers, was the first to do it, but it resulted in him not making the NFL roster the following year despite the fact that he was one of two players to throw at least 200 passes by age 29.

Since then, players on many NFL teams have been demonstrating in some form or other during the playing of the national anthem. This includes kneeling down, sitting, raising fists in the air and so on. Even the president was up in arms about it, tweeting attacks on players and calling for league owners to “fire any son of a b____” that demonstrates during the national anthem.

But all of this has only had the exact opposite effect. During Week 3, some teams in the league actually demonstrated in unison. The president has continued his attack on NFL players, but nothing has changed.

Miami Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys have already put rules in place this week to punish any player that does not stand during the national anthem. This is after Cowboys owner Jerry Jones had a conversation with the president regarding the matter.

Team owners will be meeting in New York next week, and Lockhart has already informed the media that the matter will be “front and center” during the gathering.

This isn’t a simple question of whether or not teams can force players to stand during the national anthem. It’s a complicated issue that involves politics on one side, NFL viewership on the other and millions of watching “customers” in the middle. Many opine that players are “employees” of the NFL, so they can be made to follow the “company’s” rules. Others bring up the matter of loyalty and patriotism. Still others point out that it could affect viewership and, therefore, revenues.

As the drama plays out during the coming weeks, what’s your stand on this? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

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Source: CBS Sports