Published: Tue, September 11, 2018
Sports | By Sarah Myers

NFL won't implement a national anthem policy this season

NFL won't implement a national anthem policy this season

"You have to stand proudly for the national anthem or you shouldn't be playing, you shouldn't be there, maybe you shouldn't be in the country", Trump said during an interview with Fox News after the new policy was introduced in May.

President Donald Trump has been a regular critic of NFL players demonstrating during the national anthem since the 2016 campaign. Before the NFL's slate of Week 1 games even kicked off on Sunday afternoon, Trump took to twitter to mock the league's drop in viewership while suggesting that ratings would improve if players standing for the anthem were shown on the broadcast.

In a tweet, Kaepernick gave a shout-out to "my brothers", Dolphins teammates Kenny Stills and Albert Watson, who were the only two players in the league to take a knee during the national anthem during Sundays early games.

He made reference to lower ratings on NBC in Thursday (Sept. 6) night's season opener, in which Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Atlanta Falcons 18-12. He noted Stills and Wilson "have not backed down, even when attacked and intimidated". Kaepernick, the face of a new marketing campaign by Nike, thanked the players for "their unwavering strength by fighting for the oppressed!"

"Wow, NFL first game ratings are way down over an already really bad a year ago comparison", the president tweeted Sunday. The US President has been highly critical of the players involved in the anthem protests. "Otherwise worse!" he tweeted.

The new policy is going to be no policy - at least for this season, according to sources. Before the late games, Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas and linebacker Brandon Marshall, and Seahawks linemen Duane Brown and Quinton Jefferson, retreated to their respective tunnels while the anthem played. The NFL similarly remains in discussion with the players' association about the best way to respect the players' right to speak while still protecting the NFL's brand and not alienating a large chunk of the fan base.

Kaepernick received both praise and criticism when he began sitting, and later kneeling, during the national anthem in 2016.

Colin Kaepernick, who spearheaded the movement and has been out of football since, noticed.

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