The National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) announced Tuesday that it has file a grievance against the NFL for the league’s new policy prohibiting player protests during the playing of the National Anthem at games.
The NFL has agreed to discuss ways to mollify the players who want to publicly protest in front of the stadium’s crowd, in their team uniforms, during the playing of the National Anthem before games, the NFLPA states in its media release:
“Our union filed its non-injury grievance today on behalf of all players challenging the NFL’s recently imposed anthem policy. 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.
“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 contends that publicly disrespecting the National Anthem and American flag is not “detrimental” to the NFL, ESPN.com reports:
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 NFL has ten days to respond to the NFLPA’s filing, after which – if the players’ union doesn’t get its way – it may seek arbitration or take legal action.
Back in May, after the new NFL policy prohibiting Anthem protests was announced, former NFL player Jack Brewer, who played for the Arizona Cardinals, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles, told Fox News that "there is no job in America" where employees can perform political protests while at work nd on duty:
“At the end of the day, the players have to realize, the public has to realize, these guys are at work. When I played the National Football League, I was at work.
“There is no job in America that you can go into and protest your political views in the middle of your job.”