The NFL suspended its new anthem policy last month, in order to open the way toward negotiations with the NFL players Association (NFLPA) on a jointly negotiated policy for the coming year.
However, with the start of the season only six days away, reports suggest that the NFL and NFLPA’s hoped for resolution will not get here in time.
According to Mark Maske of the Washington Post, the two sides will not reach an agreement on a new policy before the start of the season.
As Maske reports, the NFL-NFLPA negotiations have brought “little meaningful progress . . . toward a potential compromise.”
What does all this mean?
According to Pro Football Talk:
The league voluntarily suspended the player enforcement provisions in the face of a grievance from the union alleging that the NFL changed the policy without collective bargaining.
So Anthem Policy 2.0 remains in place, but players can’t be fined or suspended for failure to comply. (In theory, teams can still be fined.) Which means that, once the regular season begins, players can protest during the anthem without consequence.
So the NFL’s policy requiring players on the field to stand and show respect for the flag and anthem, remains in place. However, it has absolutely no teeth whatsoever. Meaning, we are headed into yet another NFL season with no enforceable means with which to compel players to not disrespect the flag and anthem.
Except this time the NFL actually had the means, and voted to use them, they just gave them up.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn