The National Football League (NFL) announced a new policy Wednesday regarding player protests during the national anthem: stay in the locker room, stand, or be fined. But now it looks like the owners never officially voted for the policy after all.
“Clearly our objective as a league and to all 32 clubs, which was unanimous, is that we want people to be respectful of the national anthem,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said during the NFL’s announcement. Both President Donald Trump and Vice President Pence applauded the move by the NFL.
But sources reported the owners never held a formal vote, so who approved it unanimously?
According to a report by ESPN’s Seth Wickersham, during two days of meetings on league matters in Atlanta, the “NFL just did a little informal polling and thought everyone would be cool with it.”
Sources said league executives polled owners and knew how they would vote but didn’t hold an official tally, which is atypical for a major resolution.”
The new policy leaves it to teams to discipline their own players for acts deemed disrespectful during the anthem. But it also gave the league wide powers to fine teams as well.
The NFL Player’s Association already made a public statement that they were never consulted on the new anthem policy, also atypical of major changes affecting players. And not all team owners are singing the new anthem policy’s praises either.