In a “privileged” meeting among owners and their families, an idea sprang up for the home team to decide whether both teams would come out of the locker room for “The Star-Spangled Banner.” And if the teams do emerge and players kneel, officials could assess a 15-yard penalty, the outlet wrote, citing unnamed sources.
“As always, conversations at league meetings are candid, thoughtful and thorough,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told HuffPost in an email early Wednesday. “The clubs explore every option and idea on any policy, and discuss the merits and drawbacks of each approach. We will continue the conversation this morning.”
The league also debated the issue in previous meetings since former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sparked national controversy in the 2016 season by taking a knee during the anthem to protest racial injustice and police brutality. The movement, which grew to include other players and teams, continued in 2017, prompting repeated outrage from President Donald Trump.
Kaepernick, who was not signed by an NFL team in 2017 after he became a free agent, and former teammate Eric Reid, who also protested, have filed grievances against the league for allegedly conspiring to keep them off NFL rosters because of the demonstrations.