NFL won't enforce new anthem policy as league, NFLPA work on resolution

With more controversy surrounding the national anthem and the NFL in recent days, the NFL and NFL Players Association seem even more determined to find a solution.

The NFL and NFLPA released a joint statement on Thursday night announcing that both sides have had recent discussions over the issue, and that they are actively working on finding a resolution. They also announced that there will be no new rules issued relating to the national anthem, and that none will be enforced over the “next several weeks” while they continue to have “confidential discussions.”

“The NFL and NFLPA, through recent discussions, have been working on a resolution to the anthem issue,” the NFL and NFLPA said in a statement on Thursday. “In order to allow this constructive dialogue to continue, we have come to a standstill agreement on the NFLPA’s grievance and on the NFL’s anthem policy. No new rules relating to the anthem will be issued or enforced for the next several weeks while these confidential discussions are ongoing.

“The NFL and NFLPA reflect the great values of America, which are repeatedly demonstrated by the many players doing extraordinary work in communities across our country to promote equality, fairness and justice.

“Our shared focus will remain on finding a solution to the anthem issue through mutual, good faith commitments, outside of litigation.”

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New England Patriots kneel during national anthem
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New England Patriots kneel during national anthem
FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 24: Members of the New England Patriots kneel during the National Anthem before a game against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium on September 24, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 24: Members of the New England Patriots kneel on the sidelines during the National Anthem before a game against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium on September 24, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - SEPTEMBER 24: New England Patriots players take a knee during the national anthem before the start of a game against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Sept. 24, 2017. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - SEPTEMBER 24: New England Patriots players take a knee during the national anthem before the start of a game against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Sept. 24, 2017. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MASSACHUSETTS - SEPTEMBER 24: Members of the New England Patriots kneel on the sidelines as the National Anthem is played before a game against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium on September 24, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MASSACHUSETTS - SEPTEMBER 24: Head coach Bill Belichick looks on as members of the New England Patriots kneel on the sidelines as the National Anthem is played before a game against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium on September 24, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MASSACHUSETTS - SEPTEMBER 24: Members of the New England Patriots kneel on the sidelines as the National Anthem is played before a game against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium on September 24, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)
Sep 24, 2017; Foxborough, MA, USA; Members of the New England Patriots kneel for the national anthem before the start of the game against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 24, 2017; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) and head coach Bill Belichick (third from left) stand during the national anthem before a game against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
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The news comes just hours after news broke that the Miami Dolphins are planning on punishing players further should they kneel or protest during the national anthem. A team discipline document now includes a section on “Proper Anthem Conduct,” and says that punishment for players in violation could be suspended for up to four games.

Tennessee Titans defensive lineman Jurrell Casey also said this week that he still plans to protest during the national anthem this season, and will accept any fines or penalties that the NFL issues. That, though, caused issue for Titans president and CEO Steve Underwood, as he doesn’t think that Casey understands the NFL’s new rules about protesting.

The NFLPA officially filed a grievance earlier this month over the NFL’s new anthem policy, which states that players must either stand on the sideline during the anthem or stay in the locker room.

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