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NFL: New National Anthem Rule; NY Jets CEO: Break the Rule and I'll Pay the Fine

Accepted submission by -- OriginalOwner_ at 2018-05-25 11:23:18 from the free-speech dept.

Al Jazeera reports []

The National Football League (NFL) announced a new policy that will fine teams an undetermined amount if players on the field fail to stand during the national anthem.

[...]The new policy does not require players be present during the anthem, allowing those who wish to protest and not attend the ceremonial act to remain in the locker room.

Players said they were not consulted and threatened to challenge the policy in the courts. A statement by the NFL Players Association said its athletes had shown ample patriotism by way of their social activism and community support initiatives.

[...]New York Jets chairman Christopher Johnson said he supported the measure out of obligation to the membership, but said players can take a knee or perform another type of protest without fear of repercussion from the team. He will pay their fines.

"If somebody [on the Jets] takes a knee, that fine will be borne by the organisation, by me, not the players. I never want to put restrictions on the speech of our players," Johnson said.

New York Magazine[1] notes []

The monetary risk to Johnson isn't huge, since no Jets players took a knee last season. [...] Johnson is currently acting as owner of the team while his brother, Woody Johnson, serves as Trump's ambassador to Britain.

[1] Bloated page; ugly non-validated HTML

Original Submission