Last season they linked arms instead of kneeling, and now owner Christopher Johnson says if players choose to kneel they will not face financial penalties, despite a new National Football League rule.
"[Y] ou have to understand that the plan we ended up with. was vastly less onerous than the one that was presented to me late last week", said Johnson, who added that the team would not fine or suspend any players who choose to stay in the locker room while the anthem is played.
"I think our clubs all see this the same way - we want our players to stand, we're going to encourage them to stand and we're going to continue to work on these issues in the community", Goodell said.
"If anyone is on the field and is disrespectful to the anthem or the flag, there will be a fine from the league against the team", Goodell told reporters.
"I do not like imposing any club-specific rules", Johnson said, per Newsday.
With the NFL's leadership reluctant to issue a blanket decree ordering players to stand for the anthem, the deal approved Wednesday represents a compromise. "To me, they outlined a much worse scenario", Light said when reached by the Herald.
"Well I think that's good", Trump told Fox News.
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Players will be required to stand for "The Star-Spangled Banner" if they are on the field.
President Trump has fueled fan outrage over the kneelers, suggesting in September that owners fire protesting players.
49ers CEO Jed York said every owner who voted was in agreement with the new policy, but he abstained because he wasn't comfortable with a process that didn't directly involve the players.
"If we want to be sacrosanct, if we want to honor the flag, we've got to make sure we go through a litany of things", he said.
The wave of national anthem protests started with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who began kneeling during the pregame anthem in 2016 as a statement against police brutality and racial inequities in the justice system. Still, the dollar amount of favorable press Kraft received from his co-signing of prison reform likely dwarfed the $1 million Kraft donated to the inauguration of Donald Trump, but is probably not as much as the cash he allegedly has stored Bermuda tax havens.
"I know there's some discussion of keeping players off the field until after the anthem", he said during an owner's meeting in March. I'm going to stand for the national anthem, I think I've made that clear. Does dissuading them from doing so infringe on their First Amendment rights to free speech?
- Do you think players should have the right to peacefully protest on the field?