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Players union challenges NFL anthem policy

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 7/11/18, 11:30 am

The National Football League Players Association filed a grievance Tuesday against the national anthem policy adopted by the NFL in May. The union says the new policy, imposed without consulting the NFLPA, infringes on players’ rights and violates the union’s collective bargaining agreement with the league. The policy allows players to protest during the pregame playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by staying in the locker room but requires them to stand if they are on the field or the sidelines. The NFL will fine teams whose players don’t comply, and the teams can choose to punish individual players. Demonstrations during the anthem started in 2016 when then–San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick knelt to protest police brutality. President Donald Trump and others labeled the protests unpatriotic, and angry debates broke out nationwide over the practice. The players union said Tuesday its executive committee and the NFL agreed to discuss the grievance instead of proceeding with litigation.

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Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital’s managing editor and reports on popular and fine arts. She lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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  • JH
    Posted: Wed, 07/11/2018 01:16 pm

    I'm all for players being allowed to come out on the field and disresepct the flag and anthem.  It will continue to keep people from watching the NFL.  In turn, revenues will continue to fall, leading to lower salaries.  If the players are too dumb to know that the League is trying to save their jobs and keep their salaries high, I'm OK with them having to live with the consequences.  This is known as reality testing.  Nowhere is it written that the First Amendment gives you the right to be liked for your opinions.  


    Colin Kaepernick seems to have trouble finding a job.  He says that he believes that he's being unfairly discriminated against.  It's hardly unfair: no one wants a player whom millions of viewers consider what is most politely described as objectionable.  Kaepernick seems to think that he's so wonderful a player that everything he does and says should be generally acceptable.  Only very young children--or people who think at that level--think this way.  


    If lots of players do this, perhaps the weeding out process will continue until football is a game poopulated by smarter players, or at least less adolescent ones.

  • Allen Johnson
    Posted: Wed, 07/11/2018 02:59 pm

    Caesar demands his pinch of incense.


  • OldMike
    Posted: Wed, 07/11/2018 04:52 pm

    I’m of the opinion the majority of the players in major league sports are spoiled immature brats. Who happen to have been gifted with uncommon abilities. They get approximately the same level of my attention as Hollywood, which is to say, very little. 

    I advocate shutting off your network sports and using the time to take your kids or grandkids to the park. The positive effects from that will last a lot longer for you, and the kids, than what you get out of any pro athletics contest. 

  • KI
    Posted: Wed, 07/11/2018 06:59 pm

    I must say I'm baffled that protesting during the anthem is a problem. This isnt a competition about who is most patriotic. They have the right to protest. Let them have their freedom.

  • VISTA48
    Posted: Thu, 07/12/2018 07:19 am

    They are at work. While they may have the right to protest, their employer has the right to fire them if they do it on company time. This has less to do with patriotism than it does with offending the ticket buyers who are effectively paying their salary. 

  • VISTA48
    Posted: Thu, 07/12/2018 06:51 am

    Yes, life is so very unfair to these young men, made millionaires for playing a game. Perhaps they could use some of their disproportionate wealth to do something positive? I am done with the NFL, and I won't be coming back.

  •  Xion's picture
    Posted: Thu, 07/12/2018 09:51 pm

    Kaepernick was benched on Aug 14th and 20th and began protesting on Aug 26th.  On Aug 28th he said it was to give voice to people who didn't have one.  As the media took notice, he changed his story.  It seems pretty clear that what he was originally protesting was his coach for benching him. 

    Now NFL athletes protest their country.  Why?  Because police officers allegedly target people based on the color of their skin?  No one asks where most of the crimes are committed.  And modern anthropology has reversed itself saying that there is no such thing as race.  The entire hullaballoo is false at every level.