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NFL won’t implement a new national anthem policy this season: report

The NFL reportedly won't implement a new policy this season on players standing for the national anthem.

Citing unnamed league sources, ESPN reported that officials will continue conversations on the controversial topic, but that the NFL is unlikely to institute a policy this season regardless of the talks' progress.

NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem to protest racial inequality and police brutality have sparked a heated national debate since former quarterback Colin Kaepernick popularized the protest during the 2016 season.

The protests drew condemnation from President Trump, who repeatedly attacked specific players, team owners and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

NFL owners in May voted for a policy requiring players to "stand and show respect" during the national anthem, and threatened to fine teams whose players did not adhere to it.

But after a legal challenge from the players' union, the league announced less than two months later that it would freeze the policy.

The report that the NFL won't issue a replacement policy this season comes amid renewed debate over Nike's new ad campaign that heavily features Kaepernick. The ad has been harshly criticized by the president and other critics of the protests, many of whom are boycotting the company and destroying their Nike products.

No players appeared to kneel during the anthem in the NFL's opener last Thursday night.

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