The NFL Players Association has finally decided to strike back against the NFL owners regarding its new ‘anthem’ policy. In a statement the NFLPA said:
“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 anthem became an issue in 2016 when former San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided to kneel during the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ as a way of showing his concern over racism and injustice in America. He was joined by several other players across the NFL, including teammate Eric Reid. Kaepernick has filed a collusion case against the NFL.
Kaepernick despite being an accomplished quarterback, was not signed during the 2017 season and remains unsigned today. Many people feel he is being punished for kneeling during the anthem. Also, Reid, a starting safety has not been signed. Reid continued to kneel throughout the 2017 season.
Apparently, the NFLPA saw the owner’s institution of an anthem policy in May as the final blow. NFL owners unanimously approved a policy that requires players to stand during the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’. Players have the option to remain in the locker room during the anthem if they so choose. Under the new policy, the NFL has the right to fine a player or team personnel member who does not show respect for the anthem.