The NFL Players Association announced Tuesday the filing of a non-injury grievance challenging the NFL’s recently imposed national anthem policy.
The union contends “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.”
The anthem policy, approved by NFL owners in May, requires players, coaches and personnel on the field to stand when the anthem is played. The policy permits teams to choose to stay in the locker room during the national anthem, but calls for fines and punishment for any mode of disrespect.
The NFLPA made clear its intentions to fight the policy when it was first enacted.
“The NFL chose to not consult the union in the development of this new ‘policy.’ NFL players have shown their patriotism through their social activism, their community service, in support of our military and law enforcement and yes, through their protests to raise awareness about the issues they care about,” the union said in a statement at the time.
“The vote by NFL club CEOs today contradicts the statements made to our player leadership by Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Chairman of the NFL’s Management Council John Mara about the principles, values and patriotism of our League.
“Our union will review the new ‘policy’ and challenge any aspect of it that is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement.”
In its announcement Tuesday, the NFLPA said the league has agreed to confidential discussions “to find a solution to this issue instead of immediately proceeding with litigation.”
The NFL has 10 days to respond in writing to the grievance before it potentially heads to arbitration.
–Field Level Media