All rules related to the National Football League’s national-anthem policy have been frozen while it negotiates with its players association, both sides announced late Thursday. The joint statement came shortly after a report the Miami Dolphins were considering classifying players’ protests during the pregame anthem as punishable offenses that could incur four-game suspensions—longer than many of the league’s penalties for domestic-violence cases. “The NFL and NFLPA, through recent discussions, have been working on a resolution to the anthem issue. In order to allow this constructive dialogue to continue, we have come to a standstill agreement on the NFLPA’s grievance and on the NFL’s anthem policy. No new rules relating to the anthem will be issued or enforced for the next several weeks while these confidential discussions are ongoing,” the statement read. The NFL announced in May that it would fine teams if their players did not stand during the playing of the national anthem, although the NFL’s policy did not offer guidelines for how teams should punish individual players.
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