At a press conference following the NFL’s announcement of its new national anthem policy, several team owners took the podium to say that part of the reason for the adoption of the policy is to put focus back on football.
As evidenced by the reaction to the announcement, that’s going to take some time as players, coaches and others associated with the league are going to be asked their thoughts on it many times in the months before tallies of which players chose to remain in the locker room become part of Sunday afternoons. Ravens coach John Harbaugh shared some of his thoughts on the matter in a statement on Thursday.
“I believe in standing for the flag. To me, the flag represents the ideas and the ideals that make us America. I also believe in the freedoms the flag represents and that people can speak for themselves. I know this: Our players respect the flag and what it represents. And, we’re all proud at the Ravens of the work they do to make this community and country better.”
While it’s a brief statement, Harbaugh covers a lot of ground and different people will interpret the messages it contains through their own feelings on the matter. What it doesn’t do is lay out any Ravens-specific policy moving forward.
That will likely be left to team owner Steve Bisciotti and it’s sure to be one of the first questions he faces when he’s next in front of reporters. Harbaugh and Ravens players will have their first media session of OTAs later on Thursday.