For all of its hand-wringing and generally poor handling of national anthem controversy since protests began in 2016, the NFLPA seems to be slowly righting the ship. The union has filed a grievance against the NFL for its new anthem policy, undoubtedly based upon the advice of the battery of attorneys hired for just this purpose, asserting that the policy violated the collective bargaining agreement. In its statement, the NFLPA also noted that instead of proceeding directly to litigation, it invited the NFL to confidentially discuss the policy. Frankly, this gives me pause. The NFL did not consult the union before proceeding with its decision; the NFLPA should have started its litigation proceedings, and in negotiation, agreed to a discussion. This sequence of events raises doubts about their commitment to following through on litigation. Still, it is a far cry from the NFLPA’s previous methodology of “wait and see what happens,” and “we trust Roger Gooddell,” which have proven disastrous. It is also doubtful anything will come out of these discussions. The horse is already out of the barn, so the NFL is not likely going to rescind its policy; especially given the drubbing they have taken, despite the policy’s characterization as a “compromise,” from Donald Trump. Any other modifications in favor of the players will simply be a move back towards the previous policy, which 30/32 owners voted to implement. Litigation is the likely outcome; so let’s hope that the NFLPA is prepared to go the distance.
Article below by Travis Waldron at huffingtonpost.com.
The NFL Players Association filed an official grievance against the NFL on Tuesday, challenging the league’s new policy that requires players on the field to stand during the playing of the national anthem.
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