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NFL gives up on requiring players to stand for anthem

September 9, 2018 GMT

Despite its vows to resolve the protest controversy, the NFL has reportedly thrown in the towel on implementing changes to its field policy on the national anthem for the 2018 regular season.

“The new policy is going to be no policy at least for this season, according to sources,” said ESPN’s Adam Schefter in a Sunday post.

NFL not expected to implement a new national anthem policy this season, per sources.https://t.co/uEyCOYWJIm Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 9, 2018

The NFL unveiled a revised policy May 23 requiring on-field personnel to “stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem,” but placed the changes on hold in July after the NFL Players Association balked at being left out of the process.

Negotiations between the NFL and players’ union have failed to produce a replacement for the May policy, which would have allowed players who objected to standing for the anthem to remain in the locker room during the ceremony.

The take-a-knee protests, which began in 2016 as a statement against racial injustice and police brutality, dropped dramatically during the preseason. Some players raised fists, while others said they wanted to see the new policy before deciding whether to protest on the sidelines.

Two Miami Dolphins wide receivers, Kenny Stills and Alfred Wilson, knelt during the anthem before Sunday’s game, as they did during the preseason. Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch sat on the bench for the preseason, as he did during the 2017 regular season.