NFL owners and officials are aiming to change the league’s rules for the upcoming 2018 season about how teams handle the national anthem.
Some owners are considering a change that would possibly keep players in the locker room when the “Star-Spangled Banner” is played before games, the Washington Post reported. It comes amid boycotts and backlash over players protesting during the playing of the anthem.
“I think that if players are still kneeling at the end of the year, then it could very well happen,” a source told The Post.
The protests this season were reignited after President Donald Trump said that he would fire players who took a knee. Over the weekend, he slammed Oakland Raiders player Marshawn Lynch for not standing for the U.S. national anthem but standing for the Mexican national anthem during a game in Mexico City.
“Marshawn Lynch of the NFL’s Oakland Raiders stands for the Mexican Anthem and sits down to boos for our national anthem,” Trump tweeted. “Great disrespect! Next time NFL should suspend him for remainder of season. Attendance and ratings way down.”
As Sports Illustrated noted, the current policy of coaches and players on the sidelines for the national anthem was implemented in 2009.
According to the Post’s report, the source said it’s “too early to tell” if the change in the anthem policy will be made. “I think most owners would support it, particularly if players continue to kneel this season,” the person said.
The matter could be addressed at the annual league meetings in March. “It would certainly have to be considered very strongly,” said an official who works at an NFL franchise.
In meetings last month, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said that NFL players aren’t trying to be “disrespectful to the flag.”
“We believe everyone should stand for the National Anthem,” he told CNN. “That’s an important part of our policy. It’s also an important part of our game that we all take great pride in. It’s also important for us to honor our flag and our country, and we think our fans expect us to do that.”
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From The Epoch Times