Two Miami Dolphins wide receivers, Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson, knelt during the playing of the national anthem before their preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Hard Rock Stadium on Thursday. Dolphins defensive end Robert Quinn also raised his fist during the anthem.
The NFL issued a statement a few hours later, saying that no discipline would be issued for that while negotiations continue with the league and the NFLPA about a potential new anthem policy.
"The NFL has been engaged in constructive discussions with the NFL Players Association regarding the anthem and issues of equality and social justice that are of concern to many Americans. While those discussions continue, the NFL has agreed to delay implementing or enforcing any club work rules that could result in players being disciplined for their conduct during the performance of the anthem."
It's interesting to note that the current policy, which was adopted in May, has not gone away for the time being. It's just that it's not being enforced with punishment at this point.
The statement continued: "Meanwhile, there has been no change in the NFL's policy regarding the national anthem. The anthem will continue to be played before every game, and all player and non-player personnel on the field at that time are expected to stand during the presentation of the flag and performance of the anthem. Personnel who do not wish to do so can choose to remain in the locker room.
"We remain committed to working with the players to identify solutions and to continue making progress on important social issues affecting our communities."
So basically, nothing really happened. It's clear the league didn't love seeing players kneel on Thursday. But the folks on Park Avenue were also not mad enough to issue any discipline. Or perhaps it's a sign that the talks with the union, which have been ongoing for a few weeks now, have somewhat promising.