NFL Players Association files grievance in response to new NFL anthem policy

The National Football League Players Association has filed a legal grievance against the National Football League over the league's new policy toward the national anthem.

The new league policy, put in place for the 2018 season, says that players are allowed to stay in their locker rooms for the anthem, but if they are on the field, they must "show the anthem and flag 'appropriate respect.' "

The league says teams can set their own rules for such a policy, but that teams would be fined if players on the field for the anthem do not show "appropriate respect."

The NFLPA shared this statement about their grievance.

The beginnings of the national rancor over the issue started with the 2016 Packers-49ers preseason game where Milwaukee native Colin Kaepernick, then a quarterback with the 49ers, sat down during the anthem to protest about social issues, particularly police treatment of minorities.

Protests with players taking knees soon grew across the NFL the last two years, as the league policy at the time was to strongly encourage but not require players to stand for the anthem as leagues like the NBA do.

The battle over the issue came to a head when President Donald Trump used vulgar language about NFL players and asked NFL teams to be fired. He even suggested after the NFL policy change that players who protest during the anthem "maybe shouldn't be in the country."

Though voting in favor of the new policy, Packers President Mark Murphy has criticized the President's attitude toward players who are protesting.

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