The NFL’s new anthem policy has received a great deal of backlash, but another idea previously considered by owners also would have faced some opposition. Team owners considered a 15-yard penalty against teams that partake in anthem protests, but that move wouldn’t have necessarily gone over well with the league’s officials.
“It would not be in my DNA to throw a flag on someone for their personal protest regardless of whether or not I agreed with them,” former ref Mike Pereira told Robert Klemko of Sports Illustrated (Twitter link).
Meanwhile, players are up in arms about the policy that was enacted on Wednesday. Klemko hears (Twitter link) that players who weren’t planning demonstrations for next season are now discussing ways to skirt the new rules “just to spite the NFL.”
More from around the football world:
- President Donald Trump weighed in on the NFL’s new anthem policy shortly after it was announced. “You have to stand proudly for the National Anthem. You shouldn’t be playing, you shouldn’t be there. Maybe they shouldn’t be in the country…the NFL owners did the right thing,” Trump said (Twitter link via FOX News). It remains to be seen whether Trump will continue to stir the pot on an issue that threatens the league’s bottom line and its relationship with players.
- The NFL used a polling firm to gauge public opinion on Colin Kaepernick “four months into” his 2017 free agency, Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports hears. The firm polled fans on other NFL-related topics – including domestic violence, gambling, player protests, and player safety – but Kaepernick was the only player singled out in the research for specific opinions. The development could have an impact on Kaepernick’s ongoing collusion case against the league.
- Johnny Manziel is likely to serve as the backup quarterback for the CFL’s Tiger-Cats, coach June Jones says (via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com). Barring something unforeseen, Jones expects to use former Oregon and Mississippi QB Jeremiah Masoli as his starter throughout the year. If that plan holds up, it would be a fairly significant barrier to Manziel’s planned NFL comeback. Then again, Manziel likely won’t be in the NFL conversation anytime soon after signing a binding two-year deal with Hamilton.