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鈥?The NFL Players Association filed a grievance with the
league on Tuesday challenging its national anthem policy.The union says that the
new policy Cheap
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, which the league imposed without
consultation with the NFLPA, is inconsistent with the collective bargaining
agreement and infringes on players’ rights. The filing met a statute of
limitations deadline and will be heard by an independent arbitrator, an NFLPA
spokesman said.In May, the NFL approved its national anthem policy at its owners
meetings in Atlanta. The policy allows players to protest during the national
anthem by staying in the locker room, but forbids them from sitting or taking a
knee if they’re on the field or the sidelines.Teams will be subject to fines if
players don’t comply and will have the option of punishing players.When the
league announced the policy Terrell
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, Commissioner Roger Goodell called it a
compromise aimed at putting the focus back on football after a tumultuous year
in which television ratings dipped nearly 10 percent; some blamed the protests
for such a drop. The union said at that time that it would file a grievance
against any change in the collective bargaining agreement.The union said Tuesday
it has proposed having its executive committee talking to the NFL instead of
proceeding with litigation. The union said the NFL has agreed to those
discussions.The NFL declined to comment about the union’s action.In 2016,
then-49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick began protesting police brutality and
social injustice by kneeling during the national anthem, and the demonstration
spread to other players and teams. It became one of the most controversial and
sensitive issues in the NFL, with players saying their messages last year were
being misconstrued Leighton
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, while others 鈥?including President
Donald Trump 鈥?called them unpatriotic. Trump even said NFL owners should fire
any player who refused to stand during the anthem.Following those comments, more
than 200 players protested during the anthem that weekend before the number of
protesters dwindled as the season progressed.“We’re here for a bigger platform,”
Raiders tight end Jared Cook said during the spring. “We’re not just athletes.
We’re people that live this. It’s people in our neighborhood, it’s people that
we grew up with, it’s people that we know who are actually living through these
circumstances. So when we speak on it Logan
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, it’s not like we’re just speaking out of
the side of our neck. It’s things that actually touch home and things that we
can actually relate to.“All I have to say is, I just think it’s sad that it’s
veered from something that stood for good and the whole narrative has changed
into something that’s negative when that was not what it was initially about in
the first place.”The NFL started requiring players to be on the field for the
anthem in 2009 鈥?the year it signed a marketing deal with the military.“We want
people to be respectful of the national anthem. We want people to stand,”
Goodell said at the May meetings, when he dismissed concerns about the lack of
union involvement by contending the league met with countless players over the
past year.“We’ve been very sensitive on making sure that we give players
choices,” the commissioner added Devin Hester
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, “but we do believe that moment is an important
moment and one that we are going to focus on.”The league and the Players
Coalition have been working in tandem on efforts to support player initiatives
in the community and for a variety of social issues. The NFL is committing $90
million over the next seven years to social justice causes in a three-segment
plan that involves league players. Right guard Jamon Brown has been suspended
for the first two games of the Los Angeles Rams‘ upcoming season for violating
the NFL policy and program for substances of abuse.

The NFL announced the suspension Tuesday.

Brown started all 16 games last season for the Rams, who drafted him in the
third round in 2015. He has started 30 games in three NFL seasons.

Los Angeles had the same starting offensive line for 15 consecutive games
last season before resting several regulars in the finale. That line continuity
was a big factor in the defending NFC West champions’ transformation from the
NFL’s worst offense into the league’s highest-scoring unit during coach Sean
McVay’s first season.

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