The NFL's Crackdown on Player Protests

Woody: This is the land of the free and the home of the brave, something the NFL seems to have forgotten

"No (anthem) policy is going to fix the problems that we have in America right now, it's not going to fix the shootings that are happening, it's not going to fix all the racial tension, a policy on the national anthem".

Under the changes approved by team owners at the Spring League Meeting, players who don't want to stand during the anthem will be allowed to stay off the field. Teams with players who do not comply can face a fine and have discretion on how to discipline those players.

"My father put his life on the line many times for our country, so just a huge pride and concern and love for our country has always been instilled in me and always will be", Davis said.

It's also clear from the New York Times' coverage of what was said in a National Football League owners-players meeting that they needed to find a solution because Trump was railing against anthem kneeling and hurting their bottom lines.

In other words, while the league will fine a team for violating the new policy, a team also is permitted to fine players and other personnel for violating the new policy.

Donald Trump completely stands behind the new NFL policy on the national anthem. "I don't think people should be staying in the locker rooms, but still I think it's good". Between Aug. 14, 2016 ― when Kaepernick first sat out the national anthem ― and now, at least 253 of the people listed in the Post's database did not have their race confirmed.

Vice President Mike Pence called it "a win for the fans, a win for (the president), and a win for America". This is an obvious violation of players' First Amendment rights. "We've got freedom of speech, right?" So if somebody protests something, now we get someone kicked out of the country? Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall said.

The NFL had resisted Trump's calls past year to see players punished for protesting but had said players "should" stand for the "Star-Spangled Banner".

The protests started a couple of seasons ago after former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling in response to police brutality against African-Americans.

Each team is permitted to develop its own rules, as long as those are consistent with the new league guidelines, but a team will be fined by the league if its personnel are on the field and do not stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem. "The NFL followed suit, pandered to their fanbase created this hysteria". He added, "the National Football League really missed it this time".

Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin, speaking after a team practice on Thursday, called Trump "an idiot, plain and simple". I have family that has served, and Ciara's dad, so I respect the military and what that means and the freedom of that and what they give us, but at the same time, we need to be focused on how we can help.

"It's not very patriotic, it's not what this country was founded upon", Baldwin continued. "It's kind of ironic that the president of the United States is contradicting what our country is really built on". With the new Social Justice Fund that we will be putting in place this year, I think our players and our organization will be able to have an even bigger impact in our communities. "We must continue to work together in creative and dynamic ways to make our communities stronger and better with equal opportunities for all".

To what extent do you support or oppose this policy? "To come up with a rule, I didn't think - I think it was pretty much over with".

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