Over the weekend, NFL players seemed to be more focused on politics than on football. Dozens of players chose to protest the national anthem before their games, as a direct response to President Trump's comments about it a few days prior.
Now, President Trump is suggesting that the NFL take legitimate action against the protests. He is suggesting that standing for the national anthem becomes an actual NFL rule.
According to Time Sports, there are two guideline manuals that "govern" the NFL. The rulebook makes no mention of the national anthem. However, the other guideline, the game operations manual, does talk about it.
A portion of the guideline says, "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..."
Later in the guideline, it says that those who refuse to adhere "may" get disciplined.
It says, "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."
Perhaps if the "may" was turned to a "will" in the operations manual and it was added to the rulebook, the protests would end. President Trump suggested a simple addition to the rulebook on Tuesday morning via Twitter.
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