SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

NFL passes new anthem policy

May 23, 2018, 9:58 AM | Updated: 10:26 am
seahawks, seattle seahawks, anthem policy, roger goodell...
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league's anthem policy was passed unanimously. (AP)
(AP)

The National Football League Wednesday adopted a new policy that eliminates the requirement that players be on the field for the national anthem, but imposes a fine on clubs should players who are on the field choose to kneel.

Clayton: New kickoff rules are a positive for the Seahawks

The policy was unanimously approved by NFL owners, gathered today in Atlanta for the annual spring meeting.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell issued a statement the emphasized the league’s “ongoing commitment to local communities and our country”:

“The efforts by many of our players sparked awareness and action around issues of social justice that must be addressed. The platform that we have created together is certainly unique in professional sports and quite likely in American business. We are honored to work with our players to drive progress.

It was unfortunate that on-field protests created a false perception among many that thousands of NFL players were unpatriotic. This is not and was never the case.

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

While the final approved policy was less severe than a previously-proposed rule, the owners’ decision was nonetheless a controversial one. In part because the league is in the midst of a collusion case filed by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick, who began kneeling during the anthem as a form of silent, peaceful protest against racism and inequality in 2016, has pointed to his political protests as the reason behind his unemployment. The protest drew both criticism and support, and gained widespread attention over the course of the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. By the close of 2018, a number of NFL players – and people across the country – had joined the protest (with Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, and Jeremy Lane being notable local participants).

The NFL Players’ Association said in a statement that it was not consulted on the policy, and will review and challenge any aspect that is “inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement.”

Seahawks’ up-and-comers: Defensive backs

Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks draft Julius Brents...
Brandon Gustafson

Seahawks Draft: The CB who could be this year’s Tariq Woolen

Kansas State's Julius Brents is a cornerback in this NFL Draft class who is in the mold of Seahawks star Tariq Woolen, Brock Huard says.
1 day ago
Seahawks QB Geno Smith Dave Canales...
Brandon Gustafson

How big of a loss would QB coach Dave Canales be for Seahawks?

With QB coach Dave Canales interviewing with the Ravens, Brock Huard breaks down what that could mean for the Seahawks.
1 day ago
Seahawks Geno Smith...
Mike Lefko

Lefko: New salary cap makes Seahawks’ decisions for QB and draft easy

The NFL salary cap is making its biggest jump ever from 2022 to 2023. Mike Lefko explains what that means for the Seahawks, Geno Smith and their draft.
2 days ago
Seahawks Broncos Russell Wilson...
Joe Fann

Fann: Dissecting Broncos getting Sean Payton to coach Russell Wilson

The Broncos reportedly finally found their next coach: Sean Payton, who former Seahawks QB Russell Wilson favored. Joe Fann breaks it down.
3 days ago
Seahawks Daron Payne...
Brandon Gustafson

Bumpus: 3 free-agent defenders the Seahawks should pursue

The Seahawks need help in the front of their defense, and there are three free-agent defenders who could help Seattle, Michael Bumpus said.
3 days ago
Seahawks draft Tyree Wilson...
Brandon Gustafson

Seahawks Draft: Close look at Tyree Wilson with Texas Tech broadcaster

Texas Tech play-by-play announcer Brian Jensen joined Wyman and Bob to talk about DE Tyree Wilson, who is commonly linked to the Seahawks in mock drafts.
3 days ago
NFL passes new anthem policy