NFL notebook: Trump criticizes NFL's anthem policy in tweet – Reuters

A day after the NFL’s national anthem protest controversy resurfaced in the news, Trump tweeted on the subject, criticizing the league’s revised policy, calling out commissioner Roger Goodell and suggesting potential punishments for those who kneel.

NFL Football – Miami Dolphins vs New Orleans Saints – NFL International Series – Wembley Stadium, London, Britain – October 1, 2017 New Orleans Saints players take the knee before the start of the national anthem Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs

“The NFL National Anthem Debate is alive and well again – can’t believe it!” Trump tweeted. “Isn’t it in contract that players must stand at attention, hand on heart? The $40,000,000 Commissioner must now make a stand. First time kneeling, out for game. Second time kneeling, out for season/no pay!”

The NFL and its owners passed a new policy — a policy that Trump praised as “doing the right thing” — in May that calls for fines against teams whose players show any mode of disrespect during the anthem, while asking players who will not stand to remain in the locker room.

The subject of the anthem and the new policy returned to headlines Thursday, when multiple media reports revealed the Miami Dolphins have classified it as conduct detrimental, which could allow for fines or suspensions of players who violate the policy. The NFL and NFLPA issued a joint statement Thursday night saying the sides are working on a mutual resolution to the anthem issue, and all new rules will be put on hold while a resolution is sought.

—Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said the Dolphins haven’t decided if or how to punish violators of the national anthem policy.

“We were asked to submit a form to the NFL on our overall discipline policy prior to the start of the rookie report date,”

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Matt Nagy says Bears await word from NFL, NFLPA before determining national anthem policy – Chicago Tribune

Matt Nagy said he believes the dialogue between the NFL and NFL Players Association regarding the national anthem policy is healthy, and the Bears coach will await further word from the league and association before making any determinations about how his team will handle the issue moving forward.

But Nagy also noted a policy will have to be in place by the time the Bears play the Ravens in their exhibition opener Aug. 2, the NFL’s first game of the preseason.

“The biggest thing is you want everybody to feel comfortable with whatever decision is made,” Nagy said. “Whatever that decision is made throughout the league, we as an organization want to come together and do the right thing as well.

“And (we should) talk about it. For me as a head coach, I’m all about collaboration and I know that starts at the top, above me, and we’re going to continue to do that.”

The new policy, approved by NFL owners in May, stated that players — some of whom were using protests to put a spotlight on social justice issues — should stand for the national anthem or remain in the locker room. It allowed the league to fine teams with protesting players and let teams punish their own players for protests.

Earlier this month, the NFLPA filed a grievance against the policy, and on Thursday, the association and the NFL released a joint statement in which they said that the implementation of the new policy would stop “in order to allow this constructive dialogue to continue.”

“The NFL and NFLPA reflect the great values of America, which are repeatedly demonstrated by the many players doing extraordinary work in communities across our country to promote equality, fairness and justice,” the statement said. “Our shared focus will remain

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For NFL owners, there's tons of cash in self-embarrassment – NBCSports.com

The National Football League’s monumental inability to do anything but make money for its 32 owners has been discussed for, well, years, and as a shark-jumping exercise, it has finally reached landfall.  

Thus, the Miami Dolphins’ decision to first issue a nine-page discipline doctrine to its players that included a four-game suspension for protesting social issues during the National Anthem, and then walk it back within hours of the predictable outrage reminded us again of that first paragraph:  

That the NFL is only succeeding despite itself because America isn’t yet ready to abandon its football habit.  

But that’s not today epistle. The real question here is what the league’s owners perceive as the benefit they derive from never getting this right – as to give it its proper name, always looking foolish whatever side of the social protest discussion they hold at any point.  

There must be an up-side for the owners here because they are either smart people or have hired smart people, and they have met incessantly about this issue. There must be some profit in looking like dithering cowards and cowardly ditherers all at the same time.  

I’m just damned if I know how they’re doing it.  

The 32 owners, from Mark Davis and Jed York to Jerry Jones and Bob Kraft, are magnificent at making money where none could be found. It’s how billionaires become multibillionaires – having a seventh sense that allows them to divine massive piles of cash where everyone else finds sand.    

So there must be cash in self-embarrassment, and if there is, these 32 folks are the best ever at rooting it out and seizing it.  

Typically this level of persistent failure is accompanied by loss of money, and in some cases the

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NFL, NFLPA announce 'standstill' on anthem rules after Dolphins report – ESPN (press release) (blog)

7:51 PM GMT

With the Miami Dolphins facing backlash after submitting required paperwork to the NFL that included potential disciplinary measures for player protests during the national anthem, the league has decided to hit pause on its new policy, sources told ESPN.

The league and the NFL Players Association issued a joint statement Thursday that said “no new rules relating to the anthem will be issued or enforced for the next several weeks” while both sides continue to hold discussions to figure out how to move forward.

“The NFL and NFLPA, through recent discussions, have been working on a resolution to the anthem issue,” the joint statement said. “In order to allow this constructive dialogue to continue, we have come to a standstill agreement on the NFLPA’s grievance and on the NFL’s anthem policy.

“The NFL and NFLPA reflect the great values of America, which are repeatedly demonstrated by the many players doing extraordinary work in communities across our country to promote equality, fairness and justice. Our shared focus will remain on finding a solution to the anthem issue through mutual, good faith commitments, outside of litigation.”

A Dolphins source said there is no expectation that a player will be suspended four games — listed as the maximum possible penalty — for protesting during the anthem.

Though Titans coach Mike Vrabel said in May that the organization and team owner support players’ decisions in regards to conducting protests during the national anthem, the team wants to talk to Jurrell Casey about his plans to protest social injustice.

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The NFL decided in May that teams would be fined if players didn’t stand during the national anthem while on the field. The rule forbids players from sitting or taking a knee if they are on

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Earl Thomas' potential landing spots; Darrelle Revis' true legacy – NFL.com

Former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks knows the ins and outs of this league, providing keen insight in his notebook. The topics of this edition include:

» How hybrid running backs are changing the game, on and off the field.

» One recent retiree who’s a no-brainer first-ballot Hall of Famer.

» Why the Rams decided to lock up new acquisition Brandin Cooks on a long-term deal.

But first, a look at Earl Thomas‘ future — specifically, where that could be …

* * * * *

The contract negotiations (or lack thereof) between the Seattle Seahawks and Earl Thomas continue to make headlines. Earlier this week, the three-time first-team All-Pro safety posted an Instagram message urging the team to either extend his deal or trade him to another team:

Now, I certainly understand Thomas’ desire for a new contract, based on his exceptional production and performance throughout his career, but the Seahawks hold all the leverage in this situation, particularly with the 29-year-old playmaker entering the last year of his deal.

Fair or not, the team can hold Thomas hostage for the next few years by using various franchise tags to retain his services beyond 2018 — if the Seahawks so desire. That’s why the veteran’s bold proclamations and stern ultimatums will continue to fall on deaf ears in ‘Hawks headquarters. Seattle coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider know they have the hammer, and there is only so much Thomas can do before he begins losing money through fines and missed game checks. The veteran already skipped out on the team’s mandatory minicamp in June – he could be fined $84,435 for his absence — and he’ll face more monetary hits if he misses training camp practices.

If Thomas takes his holdout into the regular season, he must

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