The NFL’s Game Operations Manual specifically states that both teams must remain present on the field during the National Anthem, standing, paying attention, and holding their helmets in their left hands. However, many NFL players, coaches, and owners refuse to abide by these rules, and Commissioner Roger Goodell is doing nothing about the blatant disrespect.
Located directly in the manual, failure to comply with these regulations should result in fines, suspensions, even the loss of draft picks.
According to USA Today, NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart reported, “There will be no discipline handed down this week for anyone who was not there.”
He labeled Sunday “an important day for the league,” while also mentioning that “the real effort here is to make progress in the community on issues of inequality, and to not get distracted by political attacks or things that don’t help us make progress.”
Here are the rules of the league, straight from the Game Operations Manual pages A62-63:
An article posted on Snopes.com claims that this particular rule does not exist in the 2017 version of the Official Playing Rules of the National Football League. Grabien News points out that the Game Operations Manual is separate manual that contains different rules than the Official Playing Rules of the National Football League.
Roger Goddell has been quick to shut down any previous talk of protests. For example, last year when the Dallas Cowboys wanted to pay tribute to five police officers who were shot by a black man in support of Black Lives Matter, they were immediately denied.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) August 13, 2016
A few days before those five police officers were murdered, Isaiah Crowell of the Cleveland Browns posted this disgusting photo to Instagram:
Posted and then deleted from Isaiah Crowell’s Instagram. pic.twitter.com/5gquTsL1Qc
— Cleveland SportsTalk (@CLEsportsTalk) July 11, 2016
After he quickly delete the post, Crowell immediately issued an apology stating that “it was an extremely poor decision and I apologize for that mistake and for offending people.”
As reported by Cleveland.com, Isaiah Crowell attended the funeral of Patrick Zamarripa, one of the five police officers that was murdered, and he even donated a game check of $35,000 to the Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy stated, “The image was inappropriate and insensitive. He realized this, took down the post and has since apologized.”