NFL to Fine Teams if Players Kneel During National Anthem

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The decision, announced by commissioner Roger Goodell at the league's spring meeting, will allow players to stay in the locker room but those on the field will be required to stand.

NFL owners have approved a policy aimed at addressing the firestorm over national anthem protests, permitting players to stay in the locker room during "The Star-Spangled Banner" but requiring them to stand if they come to the field.

The decision was announced Wednesday by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell during the league's spring meeting in Atlanta.

In a sign that players were not part of the discussion, any violation of the policy would result in fines against the team — not the players. The NFL Players Association said it will challenge any part of the new policy that violates the collective-bargaining agreement.

The owners spent several hours addressing the contentious issue — which has reached all the way to the White House.

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016, a quiet but powerful protest against police brutality and racial inequities in the justice system.

Other players took up the cause.