The #TakeAKnee protest saga has been quite the rollercoaster ride, going from outright contentious to settling into a moment of compromise before going back to being contentious again. However, as of Wednesday, May 23, it seems the NFL has put its foot down on the matter once and for all.

According to an official statement released by the professional football league from Commissioner Roger Goodell, the league will now mandate players must stand for the national anthem while on the field. Players who wish to participate in the protests must do so in the locker room.

Basically, the players can protest all they want, as long as they stay out of sight. Oh.

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"It was unfortunate that on-field protests created a false perception among many that thousands of NFL players were unpatriotic," the statement reads. "This is not and was never the case."

"This season, all league and team personnel shall stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem. Personnel who choose not to stand for the anthem may stay in the locker room until after the anthem has been performed," the statement continued. "We believe today's decision will keep our focus on the game and the extraordinary athletes who play it — and on our fans who enjoy it."

The new rules remove the requirement that all players must be present on the field for the national anthem. The new rules also states that any member of a team's personnel that decides not to stand for the national anthem while on the field will be fined.

Each team will be allowed to develop its own work rules consistent with the new policy. However, the NFL's commissioner will be able to implement disciplinary action against players who do not "show respect" for the national anthem while on the field.

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“As always, conversations at league meetings are candid, thoughtful and thorough,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told the Huffington Post. “The clubs explore every option and idea on any policy, and discuss the merits and drawbacks of each approach. We will continue the conversation this morning.”

As the news hit social media, many worried this new mandate was a not-so-subtle attempt to silence the players' right to peaceful protest: