Former Patriots rip NFL’s new anthem policy

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"[Y] ou have to understand that the plan we ended up with. was vastly less onerous than the one that was presented to me late last week", said Johnson, who added that the team would not fine or suspend any players who choose to stay in the locker room while the anthem is played. "If somebody (on the Jets) takes a knee, that fine will be borne by the organization, by me, not the players", Johnson said, via Glauber. That gesture was in response to the debate President Donald Trump ignited when he said the National Football League should fire any player who takes a knee during the anthem.

"We encourage (players) to stand, but we're not requiring you to do anything", he said.

"To be honest, I think a lot of players are happy about the conversations that are happening", he told ESPN.

Woody can't fathom how the league and NFLPA, which has filed a statement essentially stating it wished it was at least consulted on the new policy, couldn't have hashed this out together. This is not and was never the case.

"I know there's some discussion of keeping players off the field until after the anthem".

"But I think the gist of it is really that we want to make sure that everything that we're doing is to promote progress".

Mr. Johnson told the paper that he's not going to be putting any team fines on the books and he will handle any league fines that come the team's way from any protests.

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- What is your reaction to the N.F.L.'s new rules about players kneeling for the anthem? Johnson said if his players are fined, he will cover the cost. The president's words inflamed the protest controversy last season, and this time around, they're likely to have the same effect.

The NFL Players Association said the owners didn't approach the union as they formulated the new policy.

The debate over the kneeling protests began in 2016, when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the anthem. Players are allowed to stay in the locker rooms during the Anthem, which effectively silences their protests.

Similar demonstrations spread across the league, where most players are African American. The NFL hasn't gone that far, but Kaepernick has yet to land another job and one of his former teammates and fellow protesters, safety Eric Reid, is also out of work.

National Football League players were previously required to be on the field for the anthem, but there was no firm directive to stand during the song. Nowadays, people are so judgmental, whether it's standing for the national anthem or any little thing that's going on in today's society. "They should be able to stand there and put their beliefs out there for everyone to see".

Vice president Mike Pence wasted no time claiming the NFL's decision as a victory for the administration on Wednesday, posting a screenshot of a news story on Twitter shortly after the announcement with the caption: #Winning.