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."

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.

Some have attributed the league's emphasis on standing for the anthem to pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump, who in the fall called for fans to boycott the league.

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.