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The NFL Players Association filed a grievance with the league on Tuesday challenging its national anthem policy.
The union says that the new policy [url=http://www.officialislanders.com/authentic-adidas-jaroslav-halak-jersey]Womens Jaroslav Halak Jersey[/url] , which the league imposed without consultation with the NFLPA, is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement and infringes on players’ rights. The filing met a statute of limitations deadline and will be heard by an independent arbitrator, an NFLPA spokesman said.
In May, the NFL approved its national anthem policy at its owners meetings in Atlanta. The policy allows players to protest during the national anthem by staying in the locker room, but forbids them from sitting or taking a knee if they’re on the field or the sidelines.
Teams will be subject to fines if players don’t comply and will have the option of punishing players.
When the league announced the policy, Commissioner Roger Goodell called it a compromise aimed at putting the focus back on football after a tumultuous year in which television ratings dipped nearly 10 percent; some blamed the protests for such a drop. The union said at that time that it would file a grievance against any change in the collective bargaining agreement.
The union said Tuesday it has proposed having its executive committee talking to the NFL instead of proceeding with litigation. The union said the NFL has agreed to those discussions.
The NFL declined to comment about the union’s action.
In 2016, then-49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick began protesting police brutality and social injustice by kneeling during the national anthem, and the demonstration spread to other players and teams. It became one of the most controversial and sensitive issues in the NFL, with players saying their messages last year were being misconstrued, while others – including President Donald Trump – called them unpatriotic. Trump even said NFL owners should fire any player who refused to stand during the anthem.
Following those comments [url=http://www.officialflames.com/authentic-adidas-jaromir-jagr-jersey]http://www.officialflames.com/authentic-adidas-jaromir-jagr-jersey[/url] , more than 200 players protested during the anthem that weekend before the number of protesters dwindled as the season progressed.
”We’re here for a bigger platform,” Raiders tight end Jared Cook said during the spring. ”We’re not just athletes. We’re people that live this. It’s people in our neighborhood, it’s people that we grew up with, it’s people that we know who are actually living through these circumstances. So when we speak on it, it’s not like we’re just speaking out of the side of our neck. It’s things that actually touch home and things that we can actually relate to.
”All I have to say is, I just think it’s sad that it’s veered from something that stood for good and the whole narrative has changed into something that’s negative when that was not what it was initially about in the first place.”
The NFL started requiring players to be on the field for the anthem in 2009 – the year it signed a marketing deal with the military.
”We want people to be respectful of the national anthem. We want people to stand,” Goodell said at the May meetings, when he dismissed concerns about the lack of union involvement by contending the league met with countless players over the past year.
”We’ve been very sensitive on making sure that we give players choices,” the commissioner added, ”but we do believe that moment is an important moment and one that we are going to focus on.”
The league and the Players Coalition have been working in tandem on efforts to support player initiatives in the community and for a variety of social issues. The NFL is committing $90 million over the next seven years to social justice causes in a three-segment plan that involves league players.
New York Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins has been trying to keep his focus on football since the body of a 25-year-old friend was found in his New Jersey home last month.
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Addressing the media on Sunday for the first time about the death, Jenkins said he has not spoken to his brother since he was arrested by New York State Police late last month. He reiterated that he was not in the house when Rene died.
”My main focus has always been football,” Jenkins said. ”Things that happened, I can’t control, because I wasn’t there. Just coming back, being with my team, just being excited to be there. … I haven’t talked to (his brother), but I will, see where his head was at, and as far as that, I’ll leave it at that. It’s shocking. But [url=http://www.officialhockeyrangersshop.com/authentic-adidas-brady-skjei-jersey]Brady Skjei Jersey[/url] , you know, I’ve still got to come and play football.”
Janoris Jenkins, who is entering his third season with the Giants after signing a five-year, $62.5 million contract as a free agent, refused to say much else about the incident.
”It is difficult but at the end of the day you have to be a pro,” Janoris said. ”Things are going to happen in life. Some things you can’t control and this is one of those situations.”
Jenkins has been focused since the Giants starting practicing four days ago. He had an interception on the first day.
”It doesn’t make me feel like I am ready,” Jenkins said. ”It makes me feel like I am taking steps to being ready. Like, I said continuing to work, getting better and being there for my team.”
Like the Giants (3-13), Jenkins struggled last season. He was suspended for a game for violating team rules in late October and eventually had his season end in late November by an ankle injury that required surgery.
Jenkins said he spent the offseason strengthening his ankle and he is excited about the 3-4 defense that new coordinator James Bettcher has installed.
”It’s aggressive, lets players play a little and not be robots [url=http://www.officialblackhawksproshop.com/authentic-adidas-corey-crawford-jersey]Youth Corey Crawford Jersey[/url] ,” Jenkins said, adding he also has been impressed with the new business-like attitude that fellow cornerback Eli Apple has displayed so far.
Jenkins also is enjoying the opportunity to play against star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in practice every day.
”It just feels good because you know you can compete in practice against a top receiver,” said Jenkins, who has 16 interceptions in six seasons. ”Me and him going at it every day; he is going to win, I am going to win. He might win the whole day, I might win. But it is only getting us better.”
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