The NFL is enacting a new rule this upcoming season.
If a player on the field kneels during the national anthem the league will fine his team, then the team can take action against the player.
But there is another option for players who wish to protest.
The new rule would allow players to stay in the locker room during the anthem instead of kneeling on the sidelines.
“Seems fair to me. If they can protest in the locker room amongst their colleagues then that’s fine,” says Dan Young.
But not everyone feels that way.
“I think it’s a step in the right direction. I don’t agree with it, if they want to stay in the locker room, that’s their prerogative and it’s also my prerogative to not pay $70 for a ticket and $11 for a beer at the stadium to see people protest. I don’t want to see that,” says Jeff Balistriere.
“Personally if somebody doesn’t want to stand up I think it is respectful that they’re not out on the field, disrespecting anyone else who feel strongly about it,” says Brooke Beyer.
The sideline protests began in 2016 when former 49ers quarterback Kolin Kapernick kneeled during the anthem to protest police brutality and several other players followed his lead.
“I think the message was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” says Young. “I think at a football game, at a televised event, that should’ve been done elsewhere.”
But others think television was a perfect outlet to protest.
“You saw them do that on national t.v. and that was their greatest outlet,” says Brad Block. “They can go out and speak, but how many people hear you speak? Whereas now you raised awareness to the problem.”
In the end these fans will still watch n-f-l games and hope this new rule will make this year’s season different than the last.
Packers president Mark Murphy said last fall was difficult for the league, but one of the real positives that came out of it was the improved relationship between management and the players.