NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced a new league-wide policy on the national anthem Wednesday, which was approved by 31 of the 32 owners.
Here are the key parts of the statement released by the league:
This season, all league and team personnel shall stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem. Personnel who choose not to stand for the anthem may stay in the locker room until after the anthem has been performed.
A club will be fined by the League if its personnel are on the field and do not stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem.Each club may develop its own work rules, consistent with the above principles, regarding its personnel who do not stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem.
Before Thursday's practice, Head Coach John Harbaugh released this statement regarding the rules:
After practice, several players gave their reaction on the league's new policy. Here's what they had to say:
QB Joe Flacco
On his thoughts about the rule changes: "I haven't really thought too much about it because it's not really going to affect me. I'm going to go out there and stand for the Anthem and I'm going to play football. That's what we're really there to do. We're really there to play football and don't want a ton of distractions."
DT Brandon Williams
On his reaction to the new national anthem policy: "My reaction to the policy is I'm all about the football policy and winning games on Sunday. What every person on the team wants to do, I respect that. My biggest goal is just to win games on Sunday, and that's all I worry about. I'm just going to stay out of the White House and worry about mine. This is what we do, just football."
On his reaction to the president saying that players who kneel shouldn't be in the country: "Everyone has their opinion, and they are entitled to their opinion. That's the American way. But my opinion is this: I'm a Raven, and what we do inside these lines is what I'm worried about."
OLB Matthew Judon
On his reaction to the new national anthem policy: "I wasn't really too worried about it. I'm going to go out there and do my job between the lines, and I'm going to follow the rules. I can't hit with my head, they're changing the kickoff, so they're changing a lot of rules. I'm just going to go along with them and be a part of this league."
CB Marlon Humphrey
On the new national anthem policy: "I think it's kind of somewhat been blown out of proportion a little bit. The national anthem is … I respect our soldiers and everyone that has fought for this country and everything, but to put in a whole policy for it seems like it's a little bit blown out of proportion."
On if he thinks the policy will change much about how the pregame unfolds: "I'm not really sure. I think what Colin Kaepernick kind of started, it started getting swayed into the wrong direction. But I think the guys that want to help the community and help police brutality, they'll still find a way to continue to do that without having such a controversial way to do it."