NFL Adopts Policy Punishing Teams for Kneeling During Anthem

The National Football League’s team owners on Wednesday officially adopted a policy that requires players to stand during playing of the national anthem if they are on the field. According to the new policy, players and personnel may remain in the locker room if they choose, but if they kneel on the field during the song’s performance their team will be fined by the league. The teams will also be allowed to develop their own rules for punishing individual players or personnel for kneeling. In a statement, the NFL Players Association says they were not consulted in the development of the policy, and said that players show their patriotism “through their protests to raise awareness about the issues they care about.” The union also claimed that the policy “contradicts statements made to our player leadership...about the principles, values, and patriotism of our League.” Vice President Mike Pence reacted to the NFL’s decision by posting a screenshot of CNN’s headline on the news, and captioning it “#Winning” with an American-flag emoji.