Report: NFL Will Not Have National Anthem Policy This Season

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Back in May, NFL owners terrified of Donald Trump approved a new jingoistic national anthem policy decreeing that “all league and team personnel shall stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem,” before games. The new rule essentially banned any kind of visible protest—such as Colin Kaepernick and many other players’ kneeling to protest racial injustice—short of staying in the locker room while the song played.

Thanks to pressure from the NFLPA—which was not consulted about the policy—and complaints from players, the NFL stood down and suspended the anthem rule before any games were actually played, as the two sides talked it out. Now, according to Adam Schefter, those talks aren’t going to lead to any anthem policy for the 2018 season. Via ESPN:

The NFL is not expected to implement a new policy on the national anthem this season, league sources told ESPN, no matter how many meetings and conversations occur regarding the topic.

The new policy is going to be no policy — at least for this season, according to sources.


“Too many people have stances too strong to figure out a compromise,” Schefter writes, but the result of this standstill between owners who want a policy and players who don’t is obviously not a compromise. As it stands, the outcome is a rare but clear win for the NFLPA. And the NFL continues to be so bad at this.