After a few weeks of constant drama over some players refusing to stand for the national anthem, the NFL owners met with representatives of the NFL Players Association this week to discuss a potential rule change that would require everyone to stand for the Star-Spangled Banner.
Unsurprisingly, nothing changed.
The current rule in the NFL Game Ops handbook is that players (and all team personnel) “should stand.” But it’s not explicitly required.
The owners and the NFLPA released a joint statement following their meeting, which basically ensures everyone that the NFL respects the country, flag, and troops of America, but also that they won’t make any move to punish those who wish to use their platform to further the conversation of equality and social change.
Joint NFL-NFLPA statement: pic.twitter.com/v4Swz4WhvW
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 17, 2017
Interestingly enough, one owner seems to making his own rules. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones publicly stated that any player who kneels or sits out the anthem “will not play.” Jones and his team knelt before the anthem during the first week of the mass protests, but stood up when the song began.
This news will probably make the American president angry, since he seems to want to pick a fight with the NFL for some reason. But for the NFL, it’s back to business as usual. After all, it’s a game where the only thing that really matters is on-field performance, not personal or political beliefs of the players involved.