NFLPA files grievance over NFL’s new anthem policy

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The players’ union is pushing back against the NFL’s decision to require players either to stand for the national anthem or to stay in the locker room while the anthem is being played.

The league, which changed its policy this offseason in response to criticism of players kneeling on the field, is now facing a grievance from the NFL Players’ Association.

“Our union filed its non-injury grievance today on behalf of all players challenging the NFL’s recently imposed anthem policy,” the NFLPA said in a statement. “The union’s claim is that this new policy, imposed by the NFL’s governing body without consultation with the NFLPA, is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement and infringes on player rights. In advance of our filing today, we proposed to the NFL to begin confidential discussions with the NFLPA Executive Committee to find a solution to this issue instead of immediately proceeding with litigation. The NFL has agreed to proceed with those discussions and we look forward to starting them soon.”

Although the league portrayed its new policy as a compromise, the reality is it hasn’t satisfied anyone. Players are angry that the league is imposing a new rule on them, and President Trump has said the new rule is worse. Now the union will try to force the league to change this policy.

89 responses to “NFLPA files grievance over NFL’s new anthem policy

  1. “Players are angry that the league is imposing a new rule on them”
    God forbid an employer puts rules in place for it’s employees to follow. How shameful!! What a dictatorship…lol
    Please spare us all the time to talk about first amendment rights. They do not apply to the work place. Do your homework before you start typing nonsense.
    What’s crazy is the NFLPA files this to appease a minuscule percentage of players when the pie of revenue will be decreasing in coming years because of the outrage of these protests. Seems like you should be taking care of the 95% of players that stand.
    That seems amazingly short sighted but when that buffoon of a leader D Smith is guiding you I guess you can’t expect any different.
    Can’t wait till the CBA. Players are gonna get slaughtered

  2. 2 sides agree to talk about a controversial issue, what’s the problem? The NFL is a partnership between ownership and labor governed by a collective bargaining agreement.

  3. I swear, the NFLPA and the NFL are like Democrats and Republicans. They will disagree over everything if it is the other side’s idea.

  4. My job as an educator stinks. They expect me to act responsible, respectable, and dress appropriately. I think I’m going to protest this. It is my constitutional right to be an idiot and get fired because I don’t follow work rules.
    So the fact that they want to protest the very thing that gives them their freedom is what’s so hilarious about this. Get a life dudes. You make more in one year than I will make in my lifetime! I just want to enjoy football.

  5. “is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement and infringes on player rights”
    ==============================================================

    Did I miss something, the players are free to do whatever they want during the other 6 days of the week. Protest, kneel, community activities, whatever. Just that the 5 minutes before the start of a football game, please don’t insult the majority of the people paying their million dollar salaries. Is that too much to ask?

  6. Why can’t we be honest about the divide in this country and accept that this has nothing to with liberal, conservative, Republican or Democrat. It has to do with the fact that people who for centuries have been in the privileged position now find that threatened by the fact the country has become diverse and this is no longer their grandfather’s America. The south had to come to grips with that when “Jim Crow” laws were struck down and we matured in our thinking. The great thing about this country is if you don’t like the direction it’s heading every four years you get to say something about it.

  7. So, at a time when things are dire enough for the NFL (upcoming strike, rule changes, early retirements, Thursday games, concussions), they double down with this anthem issue to irk the players even more.

    If you want an answer to why any investor would now bankroll TWO new pro football leagues after so many of them have crashed and burned, there ya go.

  8. NFL Rule 5, Section 4, Article 8 – Personal Messages:

    “Throughout the period on game-day that a player is visible to the stadium and television audience (including in pregame warm-ups, in the bench area, and during postgame interviews in the locker room or on the field), players are prohibited from wearing, displaying, or otherwise conveying personal messages either in writing or illustration, unless such message has been approved in advance by the League office.”
    ===============================

    Policy has NEVER changed. Players never had a right to protest anything as it is specifically prohibited under Article 8. The NFLPA will lose the grievance, as the NFL Rulebook is not subject to negotiations under the CBA.

  9. The brilliance of the NFL players. Protest the National Anthem and the league they are playing for sees a drop of ticket sales, TV viewership and merchandise sales by 15-20% which reduces the growth of the salary cap which reduces their salaries but does nothing to create any positive change in the issue you are protesting about.

  10. Just quit playing the freaking anthem before the game. Doesn’t make sense in any sport.

  11. I don’t care about this but I LOVE that it offends all these delicate snowflakes who don’t stand for the anthem themselves

  12. Ya..know…Goodell and the NFL are afraid of the players and it’s another sign that Goodell has mismanaged the league. As McNair said, it’s like the convicts running the prison. The NFLPA always wants a bigger piece of the action. So, they’re leveraging everything they can muster to get more owner concessions. Hello…they are employees and nothing else! Goodell is weak and has multiple problem on his desk. He’s country club soft and not a street fighter. Here they are: 1. Leaks from NFL HQ. 2. The “protest” issue.3. Declining viewership. 4. TV networks demanding higher prices. 5. A failed relocation by a once great franchise..the Chargers. 6. A questionable future business success by the Raiders. 7. Massive player safety issues. 8. Huge payments and fraud by former players claiming brain injuries. 9. Ever exhorbitant and increasing costs to the fan to attend games. Owners who all want unrealistic “super, state-of-the-art” stadiums paid for by the tax-payer who is already over-taxed.

  13. If you’re going to do this, then force fans to stay in their seats and kick them out if they want to eat or go to the bathroom during the playing of the national anthem. I don’t know why a song is so important, but hey, whatever.

  14. Reading that statement, it seems clear that the union doesn’t really think it can win this one. Rather, it is using the threat of negative publicity and litigation costs to try to get the league to negotiate a new rule that they would deem more “fair.”

    The whole thing is a waste of time.

  15. Some players are literally just kneeling or sitting silently for a few seconds. That’s it. Just sitting in place silently.

    Sitting silently.

    Think about it.

    Not that big a deal really. Seems like the “snowflakes” would be the ones making a giant deal about some players sitting peacefully for a moment. Some are just offended way too easily.

  16. So many of the comments on this article are basically saying that the players should just shut up and do their jobs. What they seem to forget is that the NFL would be nothing without the players…we should just do everything our bosses say without question. I think that’s how businesses ran in the 60’s…but that’s what many of the folks that support the president want, a return to the good old 60’s.

  17. I really don’t care one way or another about this issue but I’m always surprised at how many working class individuals take the side of management/ownership over workers.

  18. jimmysee says:

    July 10, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    NFLPA = upholding freedom! THANK YOU.
    ———————
    Freedom?

    I call it driving away customers which in turn decreases $$$$$. You’ll aren’t too bright. lol

  19. This is Roger’s mess dating back to the original anthem policy (which opened the door for this). Problem wouldn’t exist if Roger had written the original lolicy with a little more thought. Now the NFLPA thinks they are fighting with the NFL, when in fact they are fighting with the fans.

  20. Maybe it’s time to be honest and remove “Land of the FREE and the home of the BRAVE.” because modern America seems to be lacking on both.

    If ONE guy out of 80,000 people taking a knee upsets you this much that two years later (and he has not even played. He’s out of the league.) you still freak out then you are not brave at all. You could have just supported him or ignored him. The peril clutching by middle aged men makes me think we are a nation of petty little wusses.

  21. All the dopes who cheer this stupidity on have no problem with the NBA telling their players to stand.

    The fake outrage is comical, sheep will be sheep

  22. The Eagles used the anthem controversy to stay under the radar, play great ball , get into the playoffs, and WIN the Super Bowl. I’m THRILLED this issue won’t die! I see a REPEAT for the Philadelphia Eagles!!!

  23. whatjusthapped says:
    ========================
    Did I miss something, the players are free to do whatever they want during the other 6 days of the week. Protest, kneel, community activities, whatever. Just that the 5 minutes before the start of a football game, please don’t insult the majority of the people paying their million dollar salaries. Is that too much to ask?

    Speak for yourself. I’m not insulted at all, and those that are insulted are totally missing the point of the kneeling. Most don’t realize that the players consulted with military personnel to say “We want to get a message across but don’t want to offend.” The military personnel told the players that kneeling is not a disrespect to the flag and they “got” what they were trying to do.

    Wish more people would realize that before automatically assuming that a kneel during the anthem is “disrespectful” or “insulting”.

  24. Hey idiots, you have the freedom of speech! You can protest on THEIR watch, not yours, what you dont have is freedon of conseqeunce. You guys cost yiurself millions by turning your backs on the flag and you want our support? Im for freedom of speech, but do it on your time, not company time or my time, you have shrunk the fanbase and i personally watch all the games but have now refuse to watch pregame or any protesting, not because im for or against either side, because nfl is my outlet to get away from the world and politics and you idiots cant get out of your own way, that tv contract is shrinking by the day if you dont stop yhe ignorance. Protest on your facebook, twitter or any other businees or company you are involved in, but please do not wear PIG socks and /or a fidel castro shirt one week and kneel the next week during the anthem protesting supression! IDIOTS!!!

  25. guyjuneguyjune says:
    ————————-
    While I agree that Goodell has mismanaged the league… he is anything but weak.
    1. He has imposed his will on any player he wants to suspend – and upheld in court
    2. He has imposed his will on any team he wants to fine – no court challenges.
    3. He got his ridiculous contract extended despite loud public gripes by Jerry Jones – Jones got fined millions and Goodell got the other 31 owners to approve his extension.
    4. Papa Johns spoke against the NFL – Papa Johns is no longer an NFL partner.

    Goodell may not be a shrewd and consistent visionary; but, I wouldn’t wager my career in winning a business/legal battle against him.

  26. Continue to enjoy the stories about the National Protest League. It’s a lesson to you young whipper snappers on how to run a business into the ground.

  27. chefninerapologist says:
    July 10, 2018 at 11:49 am
    “Players are angry that the league is imposing a new rule on them”
    God forbid an employer puts rules in place for it’s employees to follow. How shameful!! What a dictatorship…lol
    Please spare us all the time to talk about first amendment rights. They do not apply to the work place. Do your homework before you start typing nonsense.
    ————————————-
    I guess you forgot about the fact that there is a collectively bargained employment agreement…employers can’t just unilaterally impose rules that ignore that.

  28. In advance of our filing today, we proposed to the NFL to begin confidential discussions with the NFLPA Executive Committee to find a solution to this issue instead of immediately proceeding with litigation. The NFL has agreed to proceed with those discussions and we look forward to starting them soon.”

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    So let me get this straight. The Players association reached out to the NFL before filing the grievance, and offered Confidential discussions to resolve this?

    So after the NFL agreed, the Players Associate still filed the grievance, and then announced to the world that there were going to be confidential discussions?

    Confidential –

    con·fi·den·tial
    ˌkänfəˈden(t)SHəl/Submit
    adjective
    intended to be kept secret.
    “confidential information”

    Oops… Guess they aren’t confidential, are they?

  29. It is funny how people on both sides think they have the inside tract to what’s right. If you cant see the other side’s perspective, it says more about you than anything else.

    Its also naive for people to unilaterally blast the players as if they are easily replaced employees without a strong bargaining position. The owners are actually easier to replace than the players. There are way more millionaires than 6’6″ 310 pound guys who can run a sub 5 sec 40.

  30. Why aren’t NBA players allowed to crap on the flag, military, law enforcement and national anthem for Cultural Marxism? They should file a grievance too!

  31. Whenever there are multiple issues that need fixing…you can also count on libbies to devote most of their effort to the least important one…

  32. youngnoizecom says:
    If you’re going to do this, then force fans to stay in their seats and kick them out if they want to eat or go to the bathroom during the playing of the national anthem. I don’t know why a song is so important, but hey, whatever.
    ———–
    Pay us fans millions a year each, and you can make those rule for us.

  33. eaglesfanalways says:
    July 10, 2018 at 12:37 pm
    So many of the comments on this article are basically saying that the players should just shut up and do their jobs.

    ——–

    As a fan that is exactly what I want. Just as when I go to the grocery store I just want the person at the register to scan my stuff and cash me out. I don’t give a rip about their political agenda or beliefs any more than I do the NFL players’ agendas or beliefs.

    If the players want to protest or become political activists that is great….just do it outside the stadium on game day and on their own time. That will make it really easy for me to ignore them.

  34. Players fighting to keep fans out of the stands.. Did any players take a business course with their free education?

  35. Why is it so hard to stand up and respect this great country???
    If these few turds don’t like this country then leave! To me serving and living in this great country is nothing I will trade for! If this gets overturned I will not watch another NFL game or support my team for the rest of my life! I will not allow these turds to disrespect my sacrifice and my commitment I made to this great nation.

  36. The new anthem policy is a clear violation of the CBA, in that it alters the working conditions under which the agreement was made.

    It’s pretty rudimentary – a prima facie case. I don’t see how any fair court can’t side with the NFLPA on this.

  37. stand for the national anthem….STAND! and that’s the bottom line, cause mr kachur said so!

  38. footballpat says:
    July 10, 2018 at 12:02 pm
    Why can’t we be honest about the divide in this country and accept that this has nothing to with liberal, conservative, Republican or Democrat. It has to do with the fact that people who for centuries have been in the privileged position now find that threatened by the fact the country has become diverse and this is no longer their grandfather’s America

    ==================================================
    It’s only “controversial” because the Radical Left wants a wedge issue to stir up racial hate. Jim Crowe is long dead and the fact that the league is majority black but with majority white fans puts the lie to your statement. Fans just want respect for the flag. The Radical Left wants a dividing issue.

  39. If they are so concerned with people kneeling during the anthem, why not just stop broadcast networks from capturing it on camera? Or, just don’t broadcast until the kickoff?

  40. PFT’s Most Moderated says:
    July 10, 2018 at 12:55 pm
    Speak for yourself. I’m not insulted at all, and those that are insulted are totally missing the point of the kneeling. Most don’t realize that the players consulted with military personnel to say “We want to get a message across but don’t want to offend.” The military personnel told the players that kneeling is not a disrespect to the flag and they “got” what they were trying to do.
    =========================================================

    HogwashWhat “military personnel” did they consul? Chelsea (Formerly Bradley)Manning? Name the “military personnel” or it’s utter hogwash.

  41. nhpats says:
    July 10, 2018 at 2:00 pm
    eaglesfanalways says:
    July 10, 2018 at 12:37 pm
    So many of the comments on this article are basically saying that the players should just shut up and do their jobs.

    ——–

    As a fan that is exactly what I want. Just as when I go to the grocery store I just want the person at the register to scan my stuff and cash me out. I don’t give a rip about their political agenda or beliefs any more than I do the NFL players’ agendas or beliefs.

    If the players want to protest or become political activists that is great….just do it outside the stadium on game day and on their own time. That will make it really easy for me to ignore them

    ////////////////////////////

    Great answer, I agree 100%. So you’re just an idiot on Viking boards?

  42. “Our union filed its non-injury grievance today on behalf of all players challenging the NFL’s recently imposed anthem policy,” the NFLPA said in a statement. “

    “All Players”? Really – every player in the NFL is aligned with this grievance? Just guessing…there might be a few that are not on board.

  43. “Although the league portrayed its new policy as a compromise, the reality is it hasn’t satisfied anyone. Players are angry that the league is imposing a new rule on them, and President Trump has said the new rule is worse. Now the union will try to force the league to change this policy.”
    How about some ACCCURACY in reporting???
    The REALITY is that this change HAS satisfied SOME. I’ve not seen any polling of the players OR fans OR the General Public showing 100% dis-satisfaction. Even the comments on this page show people both FOR and AGAINST this new policy.

  44. Don’t give me this crap about fans going to the bathroom during the anthem. The liberal media is focusing on kneeling players is the problem. No publicity or reporting that a few players are kneeling is the answer.

    Show the flag and the performer instead of any players standing, kneeling or staying in the locker room. Makes no difference and their protesting on company time will slowly fade away.

  45. I’m sorry but there are millions of supporters of the NFL who could care less about players standing for the flag. I don’t know why there’s a contest to see who’s the most patriotic, but it’s literally insane, as it’s just a song and just a flag. Now, if there’s something we should all be up in arms about, it’s what the players are protesting. If you don’t understand what that is exactly, you can do research and figure it out, it’s been made evident throughout the country’s history. With that being said, NFL players are doing their part in the community during their own time, and since their job also counts as THEIR time, they’re bringing it to the field as well.

  46. Also, why would anybody care about winning a game for a fan who describes them as a turd? Why are players supposed to care about the opinions of fans, if the fans don’t care about them as people? Things aren’t adding up.

  47. bigbatgdogg says:
    July 10, 2018 at 2:14 pm
    Why is it so hard to stand up and respect this great country???

    ————————————————————-

    Why is it so hard to understand that kneeling demonstrates a deeper lover and respect for our country than a forced display of what people misconstrue as patriotism? Vilifying people who disagree with you is as Unamerican as it gets.

  48. Anything to make Roger, the owners & the LEAGUE squirm makes me laugh…..

  49. Some players are literally just kneeling or sitting silently for a few seconds. That’s it. Just sitting in place silently.
    Sitting silently.
    Think about it.
    Not that big a deal really. Seems like the “snowflakes” would be the ones making a giant deal about some players sitting peacefully for a moment. Some are just offended way too easily.

  50. qdog112 says:
    July 10, 2018 at 2:28 pm
    The new anthem policy is a clear violation of the CBA, in that it alters the working conditions under which the agreement was made.

    It’s pretty rudimentary – a prima facie case. I don’t see how any fair court can’t side with the NFLPA on this.

    ___

    Clearly, you’re not a labor lawyer. There are many things that are not mandatory subjects of bargaining. Its called management rights.

  51. Some players are literally just kneeling or sitting silently for a few seconds. That’s it. Just sitting in place silently.
    Sitting silently.
    Think about it.
    Not that big a deal really. Seems like the “snowflakes” would be the ones making a giant deal about some players sitting peacefully for a moment. Some are just offended way too easily.

    duece5 says:

    That is like saying…..”All he did to his boss was extend his middle finger, silently, for a few seconds!…..not that big of a deal!”

    It is the act itself, whether for a few MINUTES or seconds, that is the issue. A “small” act is HUGE in and of itself when one provides the proper context…..get it?

    There endeth the lesson.

  52. Maybe both the NFL and NFLPA should consult with President Trump before coming to any decision on what the rule will actually be. It’s obvious that there are three different parties to this negotiation that have to be satisfied.

  53. Just in case astronomical ticket prices aren’t enough to drive away paying customers, lets fight for the right to piss off a good percentage of them.

    Solid plan.

  54. i used to watch 4 quarters of preseason games. loved football with a passion. 3+ years now of listening to this stuff…the flame has dwindled.

  55. If a player wants to wear a Trump hat down along the sidelines these same workplace rules say he cant, and can be punished if he does. And ha has no rights that allow him to force the league to let him wear his Trump hat to make his statement for the cameras. If I explain it in that context do some of you start to get it now?

  56. eaglesfanalways says:
    . . . What they seem to forget is that the NFL would be nothing without the players…
    ==

    And sadly, a large number of NFL players couldn’t pass a basic GED exam, let alone get into college on their own without football. Many have never done anything in their lives outside of sports, and would be virtually nothing without football and the NFL teams that not only employ them, but pay them enormous salaries they couldn’t make anywhere else.
    With a small number of exceptions, even many of the reasonably well-educated ones could never make a fraction of the money in the public sector they earn in the NFL. Without pro football, a majority of them would be blue collar or average-paid white collar workers, dominating their local flag football league for free on Saturdays.
    The players need the NFL every bit as much as the NFL needs them, perhaps more, since the owners are mostly billionaires to begin with. To pretend otherwise is at best naïve, at worst ignorant.

  57. While many may criticize or ridicule the Players Association,
    they really had no choice. Roger Goodell holds himself out
    as a fair and reasonable leader. Unfortunately that is not true.
    This matter may have been resolved if Goodell had allowed
    the players association leadership a say in the outcome.
    While anyone who has knowledge of the players association’s
    influence knows whatever they would suggest would be rejected.
    But at least Goodell could pretend to be open to some sort of
    compromise. Instead Goodell just shoves more down the throat
    of the union.
    While the union actually has no leverage or real say….but come on
    Mr. Goodell, as least pretend to care what the players want or say.

  58. This is going to be halarious when the players and the players association get owned on this issue once again. I can’t wait until the CBA is up and the players think that a strike is a good thing to do…”because the players really have a voice”…pfft.

    They will get schooled on big business 101, come back and play, and, you remember all this noise about guaranteed contracts…they will get their wish with a 1 year 100% guaranteed contract. Be careful what you wish for sjw snowflakes, you might get it. They’ll find out what happens when you get between a billionaire owner and his money/business. You do know that most of these owners are not “football” people…they’re business people first? How do you think they made their cash…on football?…don’t think so.

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