The NFL and Roger Goodell will now penalize players for protesting.
The NFL approved a 2018 national anthem policy, but the NFLPA is not having it. The new rule will “subject teams to a fine if a player or any other team personnel do not show appropriate respect for the anthem.” If they choose to not participate, they’ll be allowed to remain in the locker room until the performance is done.
Such a rule was bound to happen due to the NFL and President Trump’s continued criticism of both Colin Kaepernick and the movement that he ignited.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s fired,'” Trump said. “You know, some owner is going to do that. He’s going to say, ‘That guy that disrespects our flag, he’s fired.’ And that owner, they don’t know it [but] they’ll be the most popular person in this country.”
But, even with this “solution” to end further criticism and to protect the league’s ratings, the NFLPA are willing to continue the fight for players’ rights.
NFLPA spokesman George Atallah told ESPN of the NFL’s proposed new national anthem policy: “We were not consulted ahead of this meeting on any potential changes to the anthem policy. If there are changes to the policy that put players in a position where they could be disciplined or fined, we are going to do what we always do—fight anything that encroaches on players’ rights to the end.”
This story originally appeared in The Shadow League.