NFL backpedals on national anthem policy after players union protests with grievance

NFL backpedals on national anthem policy after players union protests with grievance
The NFL announced it would freeze its national anthem policy for the purpose of discussions with the players union. (Bob Levey/Getty Images)

On the same day the Miami Dolphins’ plan to potentially suspend players who don’t stand for the national anthem leaked, the NFL announced it would bring its national anthem policy to a “standstill” while working with the NFL Players Association on a more agreeable solution.

The NFL owners instituted a policy in May that required all players and team personnel who are on the field during the national anthem to stand respectfully during the song, while giving them the option to stay in the locker room. Violators could be subject to fines from the league.

Now, however, that policy might never take effect. The NFLPA filed a grievance against the policy, and now the NFL appears to be giving in to that pressure by opening up negotiations with the players union.

“The NFL and NFLPA, through recent discussions, have been working on a resolution to the anthem issue,” a statement from the NFL read. “In order to allow this constructive dialogue to continue, we have come to a standstill agreement on the NFLPA’s grievance and on the NFL’s anthem policy.

“No new rules relating to the anthem will be issued or enforced for the next several weeks while these confidential discussions are ongoing,” the statement said.

NFL continues to stumble

Since early last season, the issue of protests during the national anthem has caused the NFL a great deal of trouble.

From President Donald Trump’s repeated and harsh criticisms of the league, to the NFL’s failure to negotiate a solution during owners meetings and meetings with the players coalition, the league can’t seem to settle the issue and move forward.

The NFL Players Association was upset by the national anthem policy and claimed it was created and put into effect without consulting with the players.

In an announcement that the NFLPA was filing a grievance against the league, the union claimed the policy was a violation of the collective bargaining agreement and infringed on players’ rights.

(H/T The Hill)