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NFL freezes policy barring players from protesting during anthem
The NFL announced Thursday that it will freeze its new policy requiring players to remain standing during the national anthem.
The NFL said in a statement that it has been "working on a resolution to the anthem issue" with the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), one week after the association filed a grievance against the league over its controversial anthem policy.
"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," the NFL's statement reads. "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," the statement continued. "Our shared focus will remain on finding a solution to the anthem issue through mutual, good faith commitments, outside of litigation."
In May, NFL owners voted 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 policy.
Under the terms of the announced policy, which was implemented after months of controversy surrounding the anthem protests, players are allowed to stay in the locker room.
President Trump has repeatedly attacked NFL players who kneel during the anthem as part of a movement sparked by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick protesting police brutality and racial inequality.
In August 2017, Trump stoked backlash after calling for players who did not stand for the anthem to be fired, referring to such a player as a "son of a bitch."
The president also slammed the new anthem policy earlier this month, saying that it is "worse" than allowing players to kneel.