Pelosi: NFL should have ‘consulted with the players’ on new anthem policy

Pelosi: NFL should have ‘consulted with the players’ on new anthem policy
© Greg Nash

House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiIsrael boycott fight roils Democrats in year-end spending debate McConnell predicts no shutdown: Trump 'flexible' on border deal Ocasio-Cortez had highest percentage of small donors in midterms: report MORE (D-Calif.) said that NFL executives should have consulted with players before imposing a new policy that prohibits kneeling during the national anthem.

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Asked by CNN's Chris Cuomo at a town hall event this week whether she was okay with the new rule, Pelosi said that she "would be more okay with it if they had consulted with the players."

"I don’t think the players agreed to this," she said. "This is the owners. And by the way, it’s the owners who would be fined."

The new policy, announced Wednesday, prohibits players and team officials from kneeling on the sidelines during "The Star-Spangled Banner." The league will be able to penalize teams whose players take part in the protests. 

The policy also gives players the option to stay in off-field locations, like their locker rooms, during the national anthem.

A number of players have railed against the decision, accusing NFL executives of curbing their ability to express their political beliefs.

The NFL Players Association, which negotiates salaries, benefits and discipline measures for the players, has said it will review the policy and challenge any aspects that it views as violating its collective bargaining agreement with the league.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpREAD: Transcript of James Comey's interview with House Republicans Klobuchar on 2020: ‘I do think you want voices from the Midwest’ Israel boycott fight roils Democrats in year-end spending debate MORE last September ignited a public feud with the league over the national anthem protests. At a rally in Alabama, Trump suggested that team owners and coaches fire players who kneel during the anthem and later called for supporters to boycott NFL games. 

The protests began in 2016 with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who knelt during the national anthem to protest racial injustice and police brutality towards minorities. Trump and his allies, however, have cast the protests as unpatriotic and insulting to American troops and veterans.