NFLPA files grievance to fight anthem policy
2:43 PM ET
The NFL Players Association filed a non-injury grievance Tuesday challenging the legitimacy of the NFL’s new national anthem policy on several grounds.
“The union’s claim is that this new policy, imposed by the NFL’s governing body without consultation with the NFLPA, is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement and infringes on player rights,” the NFLPA said in a statement.
The NFLPA, which was not consulted about the anthem policy change, argues in its grievance that peaceful demonstration during the anthem does not qualify as “conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the National Football League.”
The league will need to rely on the broad powers afforded the commissioner through the personal conduct policy, including applying the phrase “conduct detrimental,” to decide whether to fine teams whose players demonstrate on-field during the anthem. NFL fans are accustomed to hearing that phrase as justification for penalizing players accused of illegal or unethical behaviors.
The NFLPA argues that kneeling during the anthem does not qualify as detrimental conduct, evidenced by the fact that the league has said players have the right to use their platform to elevate issues important to them. The