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NFL Players Association files grievance over anthem policy

The NFL Players Association announced Tuesday that it has filed a grievance against the league’s national anthem policy, which was put in place in May.

NFL owners approved the policy May 23. Under it, individual teams will have the ability to fine players and other personnel who do not stand and “show respect for the flag and the Anthem.”

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At the time of the policy’s approval, the NFLPA issued a statement against it, saying the owners did not consult the union.

“NFL players have shown their patriotism through their social activism, their community service, in support of our military and law enforcement and yes, through their protests to raise awareness about the issues they care about,” the union said in a statement. “The vote by NFL club CEOs (May 23) contradicts the statements made to our player leadership by Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Chairman of the NFL’s Management Council John Mara about the principals, values and patriotism of our League.

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“Our union will review the new ‘policy’ and challenge any aspect of it that is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement.”

Related: NFL owners approve new national anthem policy, will fine teams that allow players to kneel

In the NFLPA’s announcement Tuesday, the union said the policy infringes on players’ rights:

“Our union filed its non-injury grievance today on behalf of all players challenging the NFL’s recently imposed anthem policy. The union’s claim is that this new policy, imposed by the NFL’s governing body without consultation with the NFLPA, is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement and infringes on player rights.

“In advance of our filing today, we proposed to the NFL to begin confidential discussions with the NFLPA Executive Committee to find a solution to this issue instead of immediately proceeding with litigation. The NFL has agreed to proceed with those discussions and we look forward to starting them soon.”

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