The NFL yesterday announced an official rule against kneeling during the national anthem. Following a year of hand-wringing and strong disagreement inside the league’s ownership ranks, team owners approved a new measure on Wednesday.
This gives players the option of staying in the locker room while the national anthem is going on if they don’t wish to stand during the ceremonies.
Under the new NFL rule, players who choose to be on the field during the anthem will be required to stand. If a player or team employee is on the field during the anthem and chooses not to stand, that player’s franchise will be fined by the NFL. In turn, players and employees who choose to attend the anthem ceremonies but do not stand will also be eligible for a fine by their franchise, if the team chooses to levy one.
This effectively draws the line in the sand that President Donald Trump has been prodding the NFL to take for nearly nine months – including a consistent round of political attacks during the 2017 season that dogged the league’s owners.