NFL owners say they might change anthem policy if protests persist: report
© Getty

Some NFL owners might consider keeping teams in the locker room during the national anthem next season if player protests continue, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

“I think that if players are still kneeling at the end of the year, then it could very well happen,” a source told the newspaper.

ADVERTISEMENT

Multiple people told the newspaper that it was too early to tell if league owners would follow through on a new policy, adding that there have not been detailed discussions.

NFL players have protested social justice issues, such as police brutality, since the 2016 season, either kneeling or raising a fist during the national anthem. The issue was brought into the spotlight again in September, when President Trump suggested those taking a knee should be fired.

On Monday, he called for Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch to be suspended for the remainder of the season after Lynch sat for the United States national anthem, but stood for the Mexican anthem during a game in Mexico City.

Players have been spotted protesting each week since Trump's remarks. 

The protests have stirred controversy among fans and businesses as well. Papa John's, the official pizza company of the NFL, earlier this month suggested the protests were to blame for their sagging sales numbers.

Prior to 2009, teams remained in their locker room for the national anthem. The league policy currently requires players to be on the sideline for the anthem.