Roger Goodell Ignoring League’s Own Rules in Letting Players Protest Anthem :: Grabien News

​Rules? What rules?

The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem.

During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.​

Them rules.​

============================================

Later: Snopes said no such rule, then walked that part-way back:

UPDATE:Snopes.comclaims that this rule does not, in fact, exist. The article cites the rule quoted above and reports “No such wording appears in the 2017 version of the Official Playing Rules of the National Football League.”

Yet the NFL’s Game Operations Manual — the 200-plus book the league refers to as its “bible” — is different than its rulebook. It is not available to the public. The rule cited above comes from the league itself, via the Washington Post.

The Post reported Sunday that the NFL confirmed the rule’s existence but emphasized their ability to enforce it selectively: [Of course]

Under the league rule, the failure to be on the field for the anthem may result in discipline such as a fine, suspension or loss of a draft pick. But a league official said the key phrase is “may” result, adding he won’t speculate on whether the Steelers would be disciplined.

The specific rule pertaining to the national anthem is found on pages A62-63 of the league’s game operations manual, according to a league source.
UPDATE TWO: After Grabien contacted Snopes.com, bringing the above facts to their attention, the author amended his article, confirming the existence of the above-state rule, and changed their description of this story from “false” to “mixture.”

There’s more, also from Grabien before the Snopes part, exemplifying in spades the selectivity of enforcement:

Goodell hasn’t always been so supportive of his players engaging in free speech on the field.

  • Last year the NFL barred the Dallas Cowboys from wearing a decal on their helmet honoring the five police officers killed in a domestic terror attack.
  • The NFL also banned the Tennessee Titan’s linebacker, Avery Williamson, from honoring 9/11 victims by wearing cleats that read “9-11/01” and “Never Forget” on the 15th anniversary of the terror attack.
  • The NFL fined Robert Griffin III $10,000 for wearing a t-shirt during a press conference that said “Operation Patience.” (The shirt was created by Reebok and players are required to only wear clothing sold by Nike.)
  • RGIII also ran into trouble with the league for wearing a shirt that said “Know Jesus, Know Peace.”
  • The NFL has banned players from wearing Beats headphones on the field (doing so violated the league’s deal with Bose).
  • The Steelers’ William Gay was fined for wearing purple cleats, which he did to raise awareness for domestic violence (an issue Goodell claims the league takes seriously).
  • Goodell’s opposition to speech he dislikes is so determined that he even has a Patriots fan who flipped him off fired from his job.

Tough guy, sometimes.

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