Nearly two years after Colin Kaepernick first sat, then knelt, in protest during the national anthem prior to games, the NFL is still trying to devise a solution to put the matter in the rear-view mirror.
Owners discussed the topic Tuesday during league meetings in Atlanta with several possible tweaks to league policy considered during the discussions.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been one of the most outspoken owners in the league when it comes to the anthem debate. He threatened to bench players on his team who didn’t stand for the anthem last season. However, Jones acknowledges that finding an amenable solution with enough support from owners is challenging.
“It’s not that easy,” Jones said, via Kevin Seifert and Dan Graziano of ESPN.com. “We’ve got a lot of things that we’re trying to balance. We have the interest in every constituency that’s involved here, and the issues that are involved, and we recognize that with our visibility and the interest itself, it’s taken a life of its own.”
Assessing a 15-yard penalty against teams who have players that sit/kneel for the anthem is one of several possible changes that were discussed. Via ESPN, other points of discussion included keeping team personnel in the locker room for the anthem, instructing players who won’t stand to remain in the locker room instead, add anthem stipulations into player contracts or leave the current policy in place.
“One thing that is certainly from my standpoint is I’m trying to figure out the very best way for when somebody thinks ‘NFL,’ they think about who is starting at quarterback and who is going to come out hot in the third quarter,” Jones said. “We’ve got to make sure that whatever we decide here, it’s oriented toward getting their minds on what’s going on on the football field.”