NFL owners could leave national anthem policy to individual teams – Washington Post

Former 49ers Eric Reid, left, and Colin Kaepernick kneel during the national anthem before a game in 2016 (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

NFL owners are considering a compromise solution to the sport’s national anthem policy that would make it a team-by-team decision whether to require players to stand for the anthem prior to games, according to several people familiar with the league’s inner workings.

Those people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic, cautioned that no final determination has been made as the owners prepare to take up the anthem issue when they gather later this month in Atlanta at their regularly scheduled spring meeting.

Several other possibilities remain, from leaving the current anthem policy unchanged to forging a different compromise that would result in a league-wide policy by which players would be required to stand for the anthem if they’re on the sideline but would be given the option to remain in the locker room. Or the NFL could revert to its pre-2009 approach of keeping all players in the locker room until after the anthem is played.

While some owners would like to require all players to stand for the anthem, others remain opposed to such a mandate and there appears to be insufficient support to make that a league-wide policy, according to those with knowledge of the owners’ thinking. Making it a team-by-team decision would allow some owners to impose a requirement that players stand for the anthem while most others would be likely to continue to allow players to make their own choices, those people said.

“My guess is they will

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