NFL Temporarily Suspends Anti-#TakeAKnee Policy
The organizations say they're "working on a resolution."
The NFL has decided to hold off on implementing its controversial national anthem policy.
The NFL and NFL Player's Association (NFLPA) released a joint statement explaining the policy would be suspended pending negotiations between the two parties. A grievance filed by the NFLPA in response to the plan is also now on hold.
In the statement, the two parties claim they "have been working on a resolution to the anthem issue," and "to allow this constructive dialogue to continue, we have come to a standstill agreement on the NFLPA’s grievance and the NFL’s anthem policy."
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The NFL pledged "no new rules relating to the anthem will be issued or enforced for the next several weeks while these confidential discussions are ongoing."
Both groups also promised to solve the issue among themselves, without involving the judicial system.
"Our shared focus will remain on finding a solution to the anthem issue through mutual, good faith commitments, outside of litigation,” the statement read.
The now-suspended NFL policy, created in May, required players to stand during the national anthem while on the field. Those wishing to take a knee were told they had to do so in the locker room. The rule also allowed teams to punish protesting players at their discretion.
This news comes mere hours after The Associated Press publicized an excerpt from the Miami Dolphins’ team manual for next season that stated players could be suspended, fined or both if they protest during the national anthem. Facing criticism, the Dolphins claimed the policy was merely a draft and not its final policy.
“The NFL required each team to submit their rules regarding the anthem before their players reported to training camp. We will address this issue once the season starts. All options are still open,” the team said in a statement.
This issue has been a point of contention since Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the anthem to protest police brutality. He was subsequently shut out of the NFL after his tenure with the San Francisco 49ers ended in 2016 and has filed a collusion grievance against the league.
Several other players have followed his lead, and critics, including Donald Trump, have called for harsh punishments for anthem protests.
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