NFL Owners Discussing Kneeling Penalties

Bradley Stewart and Noa Lawrence

NFL owners spent many hours on Tuesday discussing possible punishments and rules to prevent players from kneeling during the national anthem.  The franchises struggled to find common ground. Many different possible rules brought forward include:


  • Allowing each team to implement its own policy
  • Clearing the field of all football personnel while the anthem is played
  • Instructing players who don’t want to stand for the anthem to remain in the locker room while the anthem is playing
  • Imposing penalties on teams and players who do not stand, including a 15-yard penalty and a fine
  • Adding contract language requiring players to stand
  • Leaving the current policy in place


As of now, the NFL rulebook says that players “should” stand for the anthem, but don’t require them to.  These discussions should not be a surprise, as the NFL had an extreme loss of ratings this past year, most likely due to the players kneeling.  Some owners support players kneeling, while others require them to stand. The way this process plays out will be interesting to watch. Will the NFL follow Trump’s request to “fire players” who don’t stand? Or will they even make a change?  Only time will tell.