The National Football League unveiled its new policies surrounding player protests during the national anthem Wednesday, announcing it will allow each team to decide whether they permit the on-field demonstrations.
The revised guidelines follow a disastrous 2017 season that struggled under low television viewership, empty stadiums, and alienated fans after professional athletes repeatedly “took a knee” during the performance of the ‘Star-Spangled Banner.’
The NFL refused to issue a league-wide ruling, but is permitting teams to ban the protests for the first time.
President Trump thrust the issue into the national spotlight last year, demanding team owners and officials ban players from demonstrating during the anthem; saying all Americans “should stand” and honor the flag.
The protests began in 2016, when NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling as a silent protest to “police brutality” across the United States.