The NFL and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) have agreed to place enforcement of team and league national anthem policies on hold for several weeks while the matter is discussed in ongoing negotiations.
The two sides reportedly issued a joint statement Thursday indicating that finding a resolution is the primary focus heading into the preseason, NFL Network reported.
“The NFL and the NFLPA, through recent discussions, have been working on a resolution to the anthem issue,” the statement read. “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. No new rules relating to the anthem will be issued or enforced for the next several weeks while these confidential discussions are ongoing …Our shared focus will remain on finding a solution to the anthem issue through mutual, good faith commitments outside of litigation.”
The NFLPA filed a grievance on July 10 in response to league owners voting unanimously in May to approve a new national anthem policy requiring all players on the field to stand for the playing of The Star Spangled Banner, but also giving them the option to remain in the locker room if they so choose. The Players Association argued that the policy infringes on player rights and was passed without the union’s input.
Under the new policy, individual teams also have the authority to set their own policies regarding the anthem, which the Miami Dolphins have reportedly been first out of the gate with. The Dolphins submitted their plan to the league last week and it calls for players who protest on the field during the anthem to be suspended for up to four games.