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NFL Teams Unanimously Approve New Anthem Policy

© AP Photo / Matt YorkThe Dallas Cowboys, led by owner Jerry Jones, center, take a knee prior to the national anthem prior to an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz.
The Dallas Cowboys, led by owner Jerry Jones, center, take a knee prior to the national anthem prior to an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The National Football League (NFL) adopts a policy this year that fines players who disrespect the American flag and national anthem, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced on Wednesday.

"A club will be fined by the League if its personnel are on the field and do not stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem," Goodell said in a statement.

He added that the series of protests last year that saw players taking a knee during the national anthem depicted the league as unpatriotic.

In this Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, file photo, the Dallas Cowboys, led by owner Jerry Jones, center, take a knee prior to the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale, Ariz. What began more than a year ago with a lone NFL quarterback protesting police brutality against minorities by kneeling silently during the national anthem before games has grown into a roar with hundreds of players sitting, kneeling, locking arms or remaining in locker rooms, their reasons for demonstrating as varied as their methods. - Sputnik International
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NFL players have knelt during the national anthem to protest against what they call the US justice system's unfair treatment of African-Americans and other minorities.

NFL players and owners have defended the protests as an exercise in free speech, a right protected by the US constitution.

The NFL Players Association said in statement that the union was not consulted by the league about the new policy. The union added that it would review and challenge any provisions in the new policy that are inconsistent with their bargaining agreement with the league.

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