NFL Players Face a Lengthy List of Fines for Policy Violations, But Disrespecting the National Anthem Doesn’t Make the Cut
TUPELO, Miss.—NFL players can be fined for a multitude of behaviors the league deems as “violations” of policy—both inside and outside the game of football.
Sitting or kneeling during the national anthem is not one of them.
Since the trend began of players communicating their distaste, disappointment, distrust or disrespect for America through silent protests during “The Star-Spangled Banner,” American Family Association (AFA, www.afa.net) has been urging the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell to enact a policy that would also fine players for disrespecting the national anthem, and thereby, the United States.
After all, the NFL has numerous policies and fines in place for seemingly much less offensive actions, such as wearing cleats that honor fallen Americans and even handing footballs to fans after touchdowns.
“The NFL does require certain behaviors outside of conduct during the game itself,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “Thus the NFL can—and should—require players to stand during the national anthem. If Roger Goodell refuses to take a position on this important issue, NFL head coaches and team owners must step up and communicate the message that standing for the national anthem is a non-negotiable priority—stand for ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ or sit on the bench.”
AFA reminds the NFL, and the entire country, of the standards that Congress has established for participation in and respect for the national anthem. 36 U.S. Code 301 says that “all other persons present should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart, and men not in uniform, if applicable, should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart...”
AFA has also communicated several times to its more than one million friends and supporters, such as through the latest Action Alert, urging them to call on the NFL and Goodell to enact a national anthem policy.
- Call NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell at (212) 450-2000.
- Connect with Goodell via Facebook, NFL.com or on Twitter.
- E-mail Goodell through his public relations contact (a pre-written message is provided online)