NFL players union files grievance over new anthem policy
The NFL Players Association (NFLPA) filed a grievance against the NFL on Tuesday over the league’s new policy requiring players to remain standing during the national anthem.
“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,” the NFLPA said in a statement.
The union said the NFL had also agreed to holding “confidential discussions” with the NFLPA to find a solution instead of immediately moving to legal action.
NFL owners voted in May to approve a policy requiring players on the field to stand during the national anthem. Players who “do not stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem” are subject to a fine under the new policy.
Players are allowed to stay in the locker room under the new policy, which was adopted after months of controversy surrounding the anthem protests.
President Trump has repeatedly attacked the protesting players. During an August 2017 rally, he called on owners to fire players who refused to stand for the anthem, and used the term “son of a bitch” to refer to any player who did not stand for the anthem.
Trump has also slammed the new anthem policy, saying last week that it is “worse” than allowing players to kneel.
NFL free agent Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the anthem as a member of the San Francisco 49ers in 2016 to protest racial injustice.
He has been out of the NFL since the end of that season, and has filed a collusion complaint against the league. Supporters have argued he has been blackballed by the league’s owners over his role in the anthem dispute.
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