The NFL has been trying to figure out what to do about its National Anthem policy since Colin Kaepernick decided to take a stand by taking a knee in a preseason game before the 49ers’ 2016 campaign kicked off.
And now, it’s finally come to a conclusion that won’t leave everyone happy, but a compromise will be made on both sides.
Every person who is on the field for the National Anthem must stand and “show respect for the flag and the anthem.” The Game Operations Manual will, of course, be changed to reflect the fact that not all players have to be on the field for the anthem. Players, personnel, and anyone else who wants to protest by not standing for the anthem are fine, but they’ve got to do it in the locker room, or just anywhere that isn’t the field.
And if people are on the field and still protest, the franchise or person will be fined. The rumor that clubs will be able to develop their own rules is true, but if they must be consistent with the new principles, there isn’t much wiggle room.
While the league has allowed people who want the protest to do so freely, they aren’t allowed to do it alongside their teammates and are being forced to do it in hiding. The new rules also don’t address the real reasoning behind the kneeling or sitting, which was to raise awareness for underprivileged minorities of America who aren’t treated equally.
Instead, the anthem policy makes it so not standing is a direct insult to the American Flag.