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NFL could make standing for the national anthem optional on a team-by-team basis: report

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A new report from The Washington Post alleges that NFL owners may consider allowing their teams to kneel during the playing of the national anthem — and would do so on a team-by team basis.

What are the details?

Mark Maske of the Post explained that NFL team owners are expected to vote on the potential change during the regularly scheduled spring meeting in May in Atlanta.

Maske reported that he spoke with "several people familiar with the league’s inner workings" who "spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic" for the content of the report.

Also on the table is a leaguewide proposition to require that all NFL players stand during the playing of the national anthem.

Maske also reported that a third option includes requiring — or allowing — that the players remain in locker rooms until after the playing of the anthem.

A fourth option reportedly includes leaving the current official policy as-is, and addressing issues on a case-by-case basis.

A high-ranking official with one NFL franchise reportedly told Maske, "My guess is they will leave it up to the teams."

Maske's report notes that NFL owners are split on opinions as to whether players should remain standing during the playing of the national anthem.

According to the report, some franchise owners would like to see all players stand during the anthem, while others believe requiring the players to stand is too strict.

Maske wrote, "The current policy, included in the game operations manual sent by the league to teams, says players must be on the sideline for the anthem. It recommends but does not require that players stand for the anthem."

Anything else?

One team that might vote to require all of its players to stand is the Cincinnati Bengals.

In April, the Bengals franchise reportedly took strides to ensure that none of its players would be kneeling during the playing of the national anthem.

Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, said in October that his players are required to stand for the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" and would be benched if they did not do so.

Bob McNair, owner of the Houston Texans, said in March that NFL games are "not the place for political statements," indicating that his players would prove to fans that they "respect our flag and respect our country."

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