Stew Milne/USA Today Sports

NFL, NFLPA pause anthem policy amid Dolphins backlash

Cameron Kerry
July 20, 2018 - 11:46 am

The NFL and the NFLPA are delaying the framework of a new national anthem policy after the Dolphins faced immense criticism for disciplining players for protesting during the anthem. The paperwork indicated that the Dolphins would suspend players four games for demonstrating during the anthem.

In a joint statement, the NFL and the NFLPA proclaimed that "no new rules relating to the anthem will be issued or enforced for the next several weeks" as the sides would revisit discussions. The players union challenged the NFL's decision that teams would be fined an undisclosed amount if players did not stand for the anthem, and that teams would be able to determine the discipline for the players. Players may remain in the locker room during the anthem.

The statement grants the league and its players union more time to finalize a plan, and helps shift the spotlight back to the field as training camps begin.

The Dolphins filed paperwork that indicated that the team could suspend a player up to four games and/or fined for failing to follow the league's new rules. Blowback was swift, as many pointed out that Buccaneers quarterback Jamies Winston was only suspended three games by the league for allegedly groping an Uber driver.

Players from many teams used the anthem as a time to protest injustice in the United States, led by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Debate raged throughout the country, as President Donald Trump issued many statements on the issue, proclaiming the players must stand and respect the anthem.

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