NFL's controversial national anthem policy suddenly on hold after latest outrage over potential punishments

  • The NFL and NFLPA announced on Thursday that the national anthem policy would be suspended.
  • The new policy mandated that players stand for the anthem or stay in the locker room to avoid protesting on field during the anthem.
  • The announcement came after criticism and confusion over the policy following a report that the Miami Dolphins would fine or suspend players who violated the policy.

The NFL and NFLPA on Thursday announced the suspension of the national anthem policy the league implemented in May.

The announcement came in a joint statement that said the two sides would reevaluate the policy.

“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,” the statement read. “No new rules relating to the anthem will be issued or enforced for the next several weeks while these confidential discussions are ongoing.”

The new policy mandated that players on the field would have to stand for the anthem and refrain from any disrespectful gestures. Players who did not want to stand for the anthem would be allowed to stay in the locker room for the playing of the anthem.

However, the policy seemingly failed to address many of the issues the league the league was targeting. The new policy still drew the ire of President Donald Trump, who last year criticised players who protested during the anthem.

Additionally, Tennessee Titans defensive lineman Jurrell Casey said he still planned to raise a fist during the anthem. The comments led to questions about whether raising a fist would constitute a violation of the policy. The policy said the league could fine teams for having players protest during the anthem, but teams would dictate punishments for individual players who protested during the anthem.

On Thursday, the Associated Press reported the Miami Dolphins would fine or suspend players who violated the policy. According to ESPN, the report was based on a nine-page document the Dolphins filed with the NFL covering overarching disciplinary policy and punishments over the anthem policy were unlikely.

In July, the NFLPA filed a grievance over the implementation of the new rule.

“The NFL and NFLPA reflect the great values of America, which are repeatedly demonstrated by the many players doing extraordinary work in communities across our country to promote equality, fairness and justice,” the statement on Thursday read.

“Our shared focus will remain on finding a solution to the anthem issue through mutual, good faith commitments, outside of litigation.”

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