The NFL has been insistent on keeping the debate over player protests during the national anthem a focal point throughout the past two offseasons, with the league instituting a new policy that will punish players and teams for kneeling.
The league pushed the policy as a compromise, as it no longer requires players to take the field for the anthem and allows them to remain in the locker room if they so choose. However, the NFL continues to miss the point of the protests, which have from the beginning been an effort to raise awareness and create discussion about the still-significant racial bias faced by African-Americans in this country and, more specifically, the numerous instances of fatal police brutality.
Taking players off the field doesn’t fix anything and only serves to widen the divide over an issue that continues to stray further from the original intended message. Unsurprisingly, the NFL’s new policy was not well-liked by those around the league and the NFLPA has decided to file a grievance against the NFL.