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NFL owners tend to team-by-team national anthem policies, so players can stay in locker rooms



ATLANTA – NFL owners tend to approve a new national anthem policy that would give individual teams the authority to set their own anthem rules and allow players to stay in the dressing room Hymn

The owners made a strong reflection on Wednesday to ratify a plan that would allow each team to establish a hymn policy and decide whether a player should be disciplined for any protest during the national anthem. The new policy would eliminate the current requirement for a player on the field for playing the anthem. That would allow a player to stay in the locker room during the anthem.

"There are a few nuances, but I think so," said one person familiar with owner considerations during a break in the rally. This person said a decision was likely on Wednesday when the owners completed a two-day spring meeting at a hotel in Atlanta

. You could have left the previous policy unchanged. They could have compromised by making the anthem policy a decision that the home team made for each game. They could have returned to the sport before 2009 and kept all the players in the locker rooms until the anthem was played.

Instead, they were on their way to a team-for-team decision and gave players the option

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said last season that he would bench any Cowboys player who refused for the anthem to stand. Houston Texan owner Robert McNair said at the annual league meeting in March that NFL pitches are not the place for political statements. Mike Brown, owner of Cincinnati Bengals, told Eric Reid that he wanted to play for the anthem.

But other owners have said that while they would like to think of players as the anthem, they are not ready to demand it. That was the approach of the owners when they met in New York last October and did not change their hymn policy. This prior rule, written in the Game Operations Guide, which gave the league to the teams, required that the players stand on the sideline of the anthem. It was said that players should stand for the anthem but did not require it.

The issue became a national controversy last season after President Trump and some fans sharply criticized protests during the anthem by some NFL players. The protests continued last season, after being started in the 2016 season by quarterback Colin Kaepernick, then the San Francisco 49ers. He declined to stand for the anthem in protest of the treatment of African Americans in the United States. Kaepernick was out of the league last season and he and Reid have open complaints that accuse the league and the teams of the agreements of holding them without a signature.

We have many things we want to balance, "Jones said Tuesday," We have all the interests in each constituency involved and the issues involved. We recognize with our visibility and the interest itself that it has a life of its own. And we have to measure all that.

"We go out and we ask the world," Do not turn your head. Look at us. Look here. Look at the NFL. Look at everything we do. "And if we have some issues we need to work through, we need to recognize that we have asked you to look now, let us be as good as we can."


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