SEABROOK – They say that the NFL is a players league and that message did not fall on deaf ears when Tennessee Titans defensive end Jurrell Casey openly announced that he would take a fine for peacefully protesting during the National Anthem this upcoming season. Just a day later, the NFL and National Football League […]
SEABROOK – They say that the NFL is a players league and that message did not fall on deaf ears when Tennessee Titans defensive end Jurrell Casey openly announced that he would take a fine for peacefully protesting during the National Anthem this upcoming season.
Just a day later, the NFL and National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) issued a joint statement citing that NFL teams would not be able to fine players for kneeling during the National Anthem until both sides made a revised and finite decision of the new rule change that occurred this offseason.
“The NFL and NFLPA, through recent discussions, have been working on a resolution to the anthem issue. 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 NFL and NFLPA reflect the great values of America, which are repeatedly demonstrated by the many players doing extraordinary work in communities across our country to promote equality, fairness and justice.
Our shared focus will remain on finding a solution to the anthem issue through mutual, good faith commitments, outside of litigation.”
The initial rule change prevented NFL players to remain on the field during the National Anthem without standing, or each respective organization would have to impose a fine on the players unless they stayed in the locker room.
That rule change happened without the consent of NFLPA which sparked controversy and sent shockwaves through the sports world landscape. On July 10, NFLPA doubled down on their initiative to protect the player’s rights by non-injury grievance today on behalf of all players challenging the NFL’s recently imposed anthem policy which could have escalated the process.
“The union’s claim is that this new policy, imposed by the NFL’s governing body without consultation with the NFLPA, is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement and infringes on player rights,” NFLPA said in a statement.
“In advance of our filing today, we proposed to the NFL to begin confidential discussions with the NFLPA Executive Committee to find a solution to this issue instead of immediately proceeding with litigation.”
The most recent NFL exhibition will occur in Canton, Ohio between the Baltimore Ravens and the Chicago Bears on Aug. 2 which would fall within the “several weeks” period in lieu of a nationally televised contest.
The rule change has faced much opposition including from New York Jets chairman Christopher Johnson who said that he will pay any fines exacted on his players.
“I do not like imposing any club-specific rules,” Johnson told Newsday in May. “If somebody (on the Jets) takes a knee, that fine will be borne by the organization, by me, not the players. I never want to put restrictions on the speech of our players.”
With an owner, the union and players alike voicing their disgust and concern of the new rule change, there could be a strong visual response to the decision based on the aftermath of the internal discussions between the union and NFL before the first game of the regular season.