Two Cardinals veterans express skepticism over new anthem policy

Will Eagles Michael Bennett protest during the national anthem in 2018

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced a new policy on Wednesday that no longer requires players to be present on field during the Star-Spangled Banner, but teams will be fined an undisclosed amount if its members sat down or kneeled in protest.

"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.

This season, all league and team personnel shall stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem. Teams will be fined for those who "do not show proper respect for the flag and anthem" and can choose to impose their own fines as well.

However, Johnson said Jets' players are free to protest without fear of National Football League or team fines.

Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long accused the league of bowing to President Trump, who whipped up opposition past year to the take-a-knee protests, adding that the owners "don't love America more than the players". Among them was Trump, who declared last September on Twitter, "Sports fans should never condone players that do not stand proud for their National Anthem or their Country. Of course. But I understand if they felt the need to protest", he said.

"I'm not sure that's the case for everybody in this country and that's something that I would encourage people to think about and realize that these players taking a knee are doing so with their careers - something that they worked their whole life to build - putting those careers in jeopardy".

"The NFL chose to not consult the union in the development of this new 'policy, '" the players union said in a statement.

Prescott said he didn't want to speak for his teammates when asked if he believes some of them will stay in the locker room.

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Johnson is the brother of Woody Johnson, who is now serving at the US ambassador to the United Kingdom in the Trump administration. "I just think that trying to forcibly get the players to shut up is a fantastically bad idea".

- The owners approved that it is a penalty if a player lowers his head to initiate and make contact with his helmet against an opponent. Teams can be subject to fines if players do not follow the policy.

"I think that's good". At every NFL game, the American national anthem is played and all team staff and game attendees are expected to stand.

Trump was asked to respond to a tweet a day earlier from former Federal Bureau of Investigation director Comey, who had asked how Republicans would explain attacks on the Federal Bureau of Investigation and lying about its work to their grandchildren.

"They know I will stand up for them".

"What is it going to look like on Sunday for the National Football League when during the national anthem, the sidelines are empty", Pope added. He insisted the league met with countless players over the a year ago to get their input on the fractious anthem debate, which some have even pointed to as a major reason for the NFL's declining TV ratings.

New York Jets chairman Christopher Johnson said in March a change in anthem protocol was uncalled for, but he did vote with the majority on Wednesday in the name of the good of the game.

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