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Players had previously been required to be on the field for the anthem; now they are allowed to stay in the locker room, free to shout at the walls or kneel anywhere but the televised stage of unscripted violence and raw entertainment that has this country hooked on the National Football League like opiates.

The NFL said teams would be fined if personnel on the field do not participate in the anthem ceremony, although it did not state the amount they would be penalized.

The NFL players union said the league did not consult the union in developing its new policy toward sideline protests, and that the vote in favor of such a policy by NFL owners contradicts statements made to players by Goodell and John Mara, the chairman of the NFL's management council.

The new policy will require all players and personnel that are on the field during the anthem to stand while the anthem is played. "This is not and was never the case", he continued.

The policy had read previously that players were required to be on the field during the anthem, but standing was not required - it merely was a suggestion. "And I think the more that we can get that message out and understand what they're fighting for and why they're fighting for it, the easier that it's gonna be to make progress". And many questioned if the rule infringes on a player's freedom of speech.

"For me, this has never been about taking a knee, raising a fist or anyone's patriotism but doing what we can to effect real change for real people".

The NFL Player's Association, which represents players in the union, isn't happy. It was perhaps even floated by the league to its sources as a trail balloon or a shiny object to distract outrage to the policy they would eventually settle on. "If somebody (on the Jets) takes a knee, that fine will be borne by the organization, by me, not the players". In that scenario, the home team would decide whether both teams would come out of the locker room for "The Star-Spangled Banner".

Kaepernick and former teammate Eric Reid have ongoing lawsuits against the NFL, alleging the teams colluded to keep the players out of the league.

Manchester holds mass singalong for arena victims on anniversary of attack
He added: "Everyone was loved so very dearly by people who are here today as well as by those who are not". The singer returned to Manchester two weeks later to perform at an all-star fundraising concert.


The Steelers botched an attempt last fall to stay out of the national anthem flap by remaining in the tunnel during a game in Chicago.

Many owners spoke this week of their desire to put the focus of fans back on the games being played.

NFL team owners on Wednesday unanimously approved a new policy allowing the league to fine teams for players kneeling during the national anthem.

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began the protests in 2016 as a way of drawing attention to police brutality, social injustice and racial inequality.

1. All team and league personnel on the field shall stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem. "We're not going to force people to stand in their seats, but we're certainly going to make sure we're not profiting during that two or three minutes of time during the game". But those that are on the field are going to be asked to stand.

"We live in the greatest country in the world and I think it's disgraceful that this ever became an issue in the first place", Boothe said on "Outnumbered".

"All 32 clubs want to ensure that during the moments that the anthem is played, that is a very important moment to all of us as a league, to our personnel and to our country", Goodell said.


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