The NFL Players Association announced it has filed a grievance challenging the league's new national anthem policy.
In May, NFL owners unanimously approved a new anthem policy that requires players to stand if they are on the field during the performance of the Star-Spangled Banner. The new policy gives players the option to remain in the locker room, if they want. The NFL subjects the teams to a fine, if a player or a member of team personnel does not show respect for the anthem.
Players have been kneeling, sitting and raising fists during the national anthem in an effort to raise awareness for racial and social injustice in America since Colin Kaepernick took a knee before a preseason game in 2016.
"Our union filed its non-injury grievance today on behalf of all players challenging the NFL’s recently imposed anthem policy. The union’s claim is that this new policy, imposed by the NFL’s governing body without consultation with the NFLPA, is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement and infringes on player rights.
In advance of our filing today, we proposed to the NFL to begin confidential discussions with the NFLPA Executive Committee to find a solution to this issue instead of immediately proceeding with litigation. The NFL has agreed to proceed with those discussions and we look forward to starting them soon."
The NFL's protests during the national anthem have drawn criticism from President Donald Trump. Jerry Jones and Bob McNair are among the NFL owners that have called on players to stand. Kaepernick and his former 49ers teammate Eric Reid have both filed collusion cases against the NFL.