The NFL is at an impasse regarding its national anthem policy. Legal sources told ESPN that they don’t anticipate the NFL will enforce a new national anthem policy this season, despite the number of meetings and conversations the league has had on the topic.
According to ESPN, the NFL’s new policy will be no policy at all, for this season at least. The issue is too divisive for everyone to come to a compromise, though discussions will be ongoing.
The NFL issued a new anthem policy in May, which stated that players would not be required to be on the field for the anthem, but if they were on the field and they took a knee, their team would be fined. Following the announcement, the NFL Players' Association was clearly unhappy with the new policy and stated they had not been consulted.
National anthem protests became a critical talking point in 2016 when Colin Kaepernick started kneeling during the ceremony to protest racial injustice. Several other football players have joined Kaepernick in his activism as he faced criticism from a few who claimed the gesture was disrespectful to the country. Recently Kaepernick was revealed to be the face of Nike's Just Do It campaign, and an ad starring him aired during last Thursday's season opener.