Jets chairman: No 'repercussions' for my players if they protest during anthem

Houston Texans players during the national anthem before an NFL game in Seattle. NFL owners have approved a new policy to address the firestorm

NFL National Anthem Rule Change is a Win for Donald Trump, According to Donald Jr.

New York Jets owner Christopher Johnson says he will not punish their players if they decide to kneel during the national anthem and violate the new NFL policy.

"We think that we've come up with a balanced process, procedure and policy that will allow those players who feel they can't stand for the anthem to stay in the locker room", the commissioner said. Following a loss to Green Bay last October, Jones said that any of his players who disrespect the flag during the anthem won't play in games.

Johnson does not want his players to worry about the fines.

President Trump turned the anthem protests into a campaign issue, saying the National Football League should fire any player who takes a knee during "The Star-Spangled Banner". He prefers to have all of his players stand while the anthem is playing. "There will be no club fines or suspensions or any sort of repercussions". I'd rather sit or I'd rather kneel, ' I don't think they should be fined.

"I look at this whole thing and think, 'What are you doing?"' he continued.

The statement comes a day after NFL teams pledged $90m towards social justice initiatives, under an agreement reached with all 32 teams in the league.

"It was unfortunate that on-field protests created a false perception among many that thousands of NFL players were unpatriotic", said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in a statement accompanying Wednesday's new policy.

Tweets made by the US President Donald Trump about
Tweets made by the US President Donald Trump about

Most notably, Trump helped spark a near league-wide protest one week when he slammed the players at a September rally in Alabama. He thinks the policy change will "keep our focus on the game and the extraordinary athletes who play it". But the new rules were ushered in with the help of an owner who recently has attached himself to social justice: New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

The Philadelphia Eagles star never took a knee during the anthem - but did raise his fist - and has been very outspoken about players like Colin Kaepernick having the right to protest if they so choose.

The NFL approved the policy on Wednesday in a push to end kneeling during the anthem, which Colin Kaepernick began in 2016 football season as a silent protest in the face of rising racial violence and police brutality.

"I think it's more of a discussion I'll have with my wife and my family because my decisions ultimately affect them most", he said.

The NFL started requiring players in the league to be on the field for the anthem in 2009 - the year it signed a marketing deal with the military. Players also have the option to stay in the locker room instead during the anthem. It also defended those players who demonstrated.

Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said he was proud of his team last season for standing up during the anthem, but he didn't know anything about the decision when asked by reporters.

"That just goes to show you where we're at", Bethea said.

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