The new NFL national anthem policy for 2018 has been announced by one of the largest professional sports leagues in the U.S.
NFL owners have unanimously passed a new national anthem policy that will require players to stand if they are on the field during the performance of the anthem. However, they also have the option of remaining in the locker room during the anthem if they prefer, according to a Wednesday announcement.
The policy requires teams to issue a fine to a player or any other team personnel if they do not show respect for the anthem. This includes but is not limited to sitting or kneeling, as plenty of players have done so over the past two seasons to protest racial inequality and police brutality–a movement that was started by former San Francisco 49ers starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Those teams will also the option to fine any team personnel, which includes players, if they fail to stand during the national anthem. “We want people to be respectful of the national anthem,” commissioner Roger Goodell said.
“We want people to stand — that’s all personnel — and make sure they treat this moment in a respectful fashion. That’s something we think we owe. [But] we were also very sensitive to give players choices,” he added.