NFL players will not be allowed to wear kneecaps during anthem at game
NFL players participating in the national anthem will not wear kneepads at home games in the upcoming season, according to an NFL spokesperson.
The league’s governing body said in a statement Friday that it is “strongly supportive of players’ right to protest during the national anthems and is pleased that they will not engage in this activity at the upcoming home games.”
It was not immediately clear how the NFL would address the issue, but the move comes after the players’ union in February announced that the NFL Players Association would not endorse players who kneel during the anthem.
Players have a constitutional right to express themselves during the playing of the national song and the anthem during the National Anthem.
The anthem, which begins at the end of the playing sequence, is played before each preseason game.
The NFL has not officially responded to the statement, but a source close to the league said the league would not ban players from the game, but that they would limit the time players are allowed to remain seated during the pregame.
“It’s been the position that we will have some latitude to make that determination,” the source said.
The statement from the NFL said that the league’s policy “does not prohibit players from taking the knee during the singing of the National Song.”
The policy also said that players would not be fined for sitting during the anthemic portion of the anthem, and that they could leave the stadium if they felt “uncomfortable” during the music.
In February, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that there were no “discussions” about players kneeling during the song, adding that “there’s no reason to think there will be any issues” during games.
“We’re just doing our jobs and trying to make it as peaceful as we can,” Goodell said at the time.
The decision to ban the kneeling during anthem came after the union said it would not support players who refused to kneel.