NFL National Anthem Policy Greeted by Cheers and Jeers on Social Media

The NFL has announced its new kneeling protest policy, and the rules have been met with both cheers and jeers on social media.

According to the new policy, teams will be fined if players kneel during the National Anthem, but they will be allowed to remain in the locker room during it if they so choose.

Some have applauded the NFL for its new stance, with one twitter user writing, "Good on the #NFL you shouldve done this last year."

"Pls read the statement, in its entirety, before commenting. Playing football is a job, your work has the right to make rules," commented another supporter of the new rules. "No one is saying they can’t be activists- just not at work- they are paid, and paid well, to work."

Others have been less supportive, choosing to criticize the organization for, as one Twitter user said, "a chilling attack against the First Amendment and a racist policy against the majority African-American players who want to peacefully protest the injustice they face in their daily lives."

"The NFL needs a damn reality check. Protest was never about the flag or our great veterans," commented another in opposition to the new rules, "IT WAS ABOUT BLACK WOMEN AND MEN AND CHILDREN BEING KILLED IN THESE STREETS WITH NO CONSEQUENCES BY THE VERY PEOPLE SWORN TO PROTECT US. KNOCK IT OFF."

The new guidelines were detailed on Wednesday, in a statement from Commissioner Roger Goodell.

“This season, all league and team personnel shall stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem,” Goodell said in the statement. “Personnel who choose not to stand for the anthem may stay in the locker room until after the anthem has been performed.”

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“It was unfortunate that on-field protests created a false perception among many that thousands of N.F.L. players were unpatriotic,” Goodell added. “This is not and was never the case.”

NFL fans can read the new policy information below:

  • All team and league personnel on the field shall stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.
  • The Game Operations Manual will be revised to remove the requirement that all players be on the field for the Anthem.
  • Personnel who choose not to stand for the Anthem may stay in the locker room or in a similar location off the field until after the Anthem has been performed.
  • A club will be fined by the League if its personnel are on the field and do not stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.
  • Each club may develop its own work rules, consistent with the above principles, regarding its personnel who do not stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.
  • The Commissioner will impose appropriate discipline on league personnel who do not stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.