NFL players union files grievance over national anthem policy

The NFL Players Assn. filed a grievance with the league Tuesday challenging its new national anthem policy.

The union says that the policy, which the league imposed without consultation with the NFLPA, is inconsistent with the collective league’s bargaining agreement and infringes on players’ rights.

NFL owners approved the new national anthem policy at their meetings in Atlanta in May. The policy allows players to protest during the national anthem by staying in the locker room, but forbids them from sitting or taking a knee if they’re on the field or the sidelines.

When the league announced the policy, Commissioner Roger Goodell called it a compromise aimed at putting the focus back on football after a tumultuous year in which television ratings dipped nearly 10%; some blamed controversy over the protests for the drop. The union said at that time that it would file a grievance against any change in the collective bargaining agreement.

The union said Tuesday it has proposed having its executive committee discuss the issue with the NFL rather than proceed with litigation. The union said the NFL has agreed to those discussions.


The NFL did not immediately comment about the union’s action.