The NFL ruled in May that players could either stand respectfully or stay in the locker room, a modification of previously vague suggestions. When players and their union balked, the two sides agreed to suspend enforcement of the new rule while talking about a solution. That has apparently failed to happen.
The WaPo reports that the standstill agreement remains in place. That effectively means players can continue to kneel, raise fists, or sit during the anthem, as a handful have done during the pre-season. “Little meaningful progress” has been made on a compromise, the Post reports.
Before the standstill agreement was reached, teams faced fines from the league for protests during the song, and individual teams could enact punishments on individual players. When it came to light that at least one team, the Miami Dolphins, had rules planned that could have banned players for up to four games for anthem violations, the NFL rules started to fray. Many players insisted it was their right to protest.
The NFL regular season opens next Thursday night with Super Bowl champions the Philadelphia Eagles taking on the Atlanta Falcons in Philadelphia.