A league spokesman told ESPN "the only formal rule regarding the anthem is that it must be played before games, be it the US or Canadian version or both, depending on the teams involved".
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Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said last season that he would bench any Cowboys player who refused to stand for the anthem.
Heading into this week's league meetings in Atlanta, one of the biggest questions was how, if at all, the NFL would attempt to address players protesting during the national anthem. However, a team will be fined if personnel is on the field and "do not stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem". Most notably, Trump helped spark a near league-wide protest one week when he slammed the players at a September rally in Alabama.
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Intentional or not, PBS White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor - and others - said the policy gives Trump and Pence exactly what they've been wanting since staging their own protests over players' protests, all while upstaging some of the words of the national anthem. But judging from the initial reactions, the National Football League hasn't yet found a policy to please everyone.
"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color", he said in late August 2016.
The change will remove existing regulations that require all footballers to be on the field for the anthem.
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The new guidelines were detailed on Wednesday, in a statement from Commissioner Roger Goodell. "The march of players, officials and children into our stadiums and singing of the anthem has been a pre-match tradition since our first game in 1996. And I think the more that we can get that message out and understand what they're fighting for and why they're fighting for it, the easier that it's gonna be to make progress". "This is not and was never the case". He refused to stand for the anthem in protest of the treatment of African-Americans in the U.S. Kaepernick was out of the league last season and he and Reid have pending grievances accusing the league and teams of colluding to keep them unsigned.