Broncos Players React To New NFL National Anthem Policy

Browns players kneel during the performing of the national anthem prior to their game against Indianapolis last season

The National Football League will fine teams if players on the field refuse to stand for the national anthem, the league said on Wednesday in a victory for U.S. President Donald Trump, who loudly demanded an end to such protests previous year.

"You have to stand proudly for the National Anthem and the NFL owners did the right thing if that's what they've done", Trump told "Fox & Friends" in an interview that aired Thursday morning.

National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell addressed the controversy in a statement after the new rule was announced that "on-field protests created a false perception among many that thousands of National Football League players were unpatriotic".

"We think that we've come up with a balanced process, procedure and policy that will allow those players who feel they can't stand for the anthem to stay in the locker room", the commissioner said.

As Newsday points out in their piece, no Jets players took a knee during the national anthem last season, deciding instead to lock arms and stand together.

"I do not like imposing any club-specific rules", Christopher Johnson said.

He said he does prefer that players stand, but that decision is not up to him. "They can do whatever whatever they want", said Wolfe. "If the team gets fined, that's just something I'll have to bear". That was the approach taken by owners when they met in October in NY and did not change the previous anthem policy.

"I think that we've listened to a lot of different viewpoints, including our fans, over the previous year".

"I don't think they should be forced to stand or put their hand over the chest", Lamont Stone of Monroeville said.

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Several NFL owners expressed concern about the effects the protests were having on fans, sponsors and ratings.

"We are dedicated to continuing our collaboration with players to advance the goals of justice and fairness in all corners of our society", Goodell said in his statement.

"We're not going to see eye to eye all the time, but we have to make sure we respect each other and we have to stay unified".

The wave of national anthem protests started with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who began kneeling during the pregame anthem in 2016 as a statement against police brutality and racial inequities in the justice system. The teams also have the power to impose fines on the players who take a knee. Some may have privately agreed with Trump, while others anxious that the protests would hit revenues in a league that is incredibly popular in conservative parts of America. "I remain extremely proud of how we demonstrated unity last season as well as our players' commitment to strengthening our communities".

National Football League stars joined Kaepernick later that season, seizing the opportunity during the "Star-Spangled Banner" to kneel and bring attention to social justice issues.

The NFL Players Association has threatened to challenge the decision, claiming that the league "chose to not consult" them over the policy. "So I think that should be the focus now, and hopefully it is moving forward".

After clip aired, Kilmeade commented, "I think it's a seven out of ten", presumably referring to how much credit Trump should be given for forcing the NFL's new policy?

"I don't think that this policy will interfere with that at all", Johnson said.

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