The NFLPA, NFL Players Association, has filed a non-injury grievance challenging the NFL’s new anthem policy’s legitimacy. “The union’s claim is that this new policy, imposed by the NFL’s governing body without consultation with the NFLPA, is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement and infringes on player rights,” the NFLPA said in a statement.
The NFLPA was not included in the anthem policy change and are arguing that kneeling in peaceful protest of the anthem does not qualify as, “conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the National Football League.” The player’s association believe that making peaceful protests ground for detrimental conduct could lead to dangerous and negative precedents. Peaceful demonstrations, under the new rules, could be punished. Things such as prayer would now be able to be punished with the new policy change.
The NFL will have 10 days to respond to the grievance filed, but have yet to release a public statement in response to the accusations. If the issue remains unsolved, the NFLPA can go to the notice arbitrator. The grievance will then be heard by one of four mutually agreed upon arbitrators. The NFLPA also might think about challenging the legality of the NFL’s anthem policy through certain areas in which laws are in place that prohibit employers from instituting rules like the anthem policy.