Stand for the national anthem, or don't, the NFL will no longer care this season.
The NFL made a point to make a policy in May requiring players on the field to stand for the national anthem before games —specifying punishment for a longstanding item from the NFL handbook — but the league was force to put those plans on hold in July amid public backlash.
Now, the NFL is not expected to enforce it at all this season, ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter reported Sunday, the first full day of the season.
Schefter's report cited league sources to have claimed meetings and conversations on the controversy can come to no consensus on whether or not to penalize or fine players or teams for failed to stand on the field during the national anthem.
The policy set in May permitted NFL players to stay in the locker room during the national anthem, but critics argued on both sides the policy was either stifling free speech of players wishing to protest or, conversely, permitting disrespect or the country by not enforcing a longstanding policy requiring teams to be on the field at attention for the national anthem.
Athletes have begun protesting the national anthem for social injustice causes after former quarterback Colin Kaepernick started doing so. Kaepernick is now out of the NFL but signed an endorsement deal with Nike to be the face of their anniversary "Just Do It" campaign.
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