The NFL Players' Association announced on Tuesday that it has filed a grievance on behalf of the players challenging the league's controversial anthem policy, which was introduced in May.
"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. "In advance of our filing today, we proposed to the NFL to begin confidential discussions with the NFLPA Executive Committee to find a solution to this issue instead of immediately proceeding with litigation. The NFL has agreed to proceed with those discussions and we look forward to starting them soon."
The NFLPA raised similar points hours after the anthem policy was unveiled.
The NFL chose to not consult the union in the development of this new "policy." NFL players have shown their patriotism through their social activism, their community service, in support of our military and law enforcement and yes, through their protests to raise awareness about the issues they care about.
The vote by NFL club CEOs today contradicts the statements made to our player leadership by Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Chairman of the NFL's Management Council John Mara about the principles, values and patriotism of our League.
Our union will review the new "policy" and challenge any aspect of it that is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement.
At issue: On May 23, NFL owners passed a resolution that allows players to remain in the locker room during the national anthem but those who are on the sidelines will be required to stand. Teams -- not players -- will be fined for any actions deemed disrespectful. In a statement, commissioner Roger Goodell said, "all league and team personnel shall stand," and added, "It was unfortunate that on-field protests created a false perception among many that thousands of NFL players were unpatriotic. This is not and was never the case."