On Monday afternoon, the NFL released a statement outlining its new national anthem policy. It stated players were no longer required to report to the field for the anthem, but if they were on the field, they had to stand—or else the club would be fined and Commissioner Roger Goodell would "impose appropriate discipline."
Here is the NFL’s new national anthem policy: pic.twitter.com/ybjKoO6E3s— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 23, 2018
The league's Players' Association, however, says it was not consulted on this new policy. The NFLPA released its own statement, saying it planned to "challenge" the league and reach a fair arrangement for the players.
sports league valued at $63B, 90% of whose players are black, caves to the least-popular first-term president in American history. #NFL— Eric Boehlert (@EricBoehlert) May 23, 2018
The league had a tough year in terms of popularity, and some attributed its decline to the politics and optics of the national anthem boycott. Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who started the anthem protest, remains unsigned, as does Eric Reid.
Earlier this week, it was reported that owners were considering imposing a 15-yard penalty upon teams whose players do not stand for the anthem. The league outlined a bunch of new rules on Tuesday, including revisions of its policies on ejections, use of the helmet, and kickoffs.