BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbough addressed the media Thursday and offered his thoughts on the NFL’s new National Anthem policy.
“I believe in standing for the flag. To me, the flag represents the ideas and the ideals that make us America. I also believe in the freedoms the flag represents and that people can speak for themselves. I know this: Our players respect the flag and what it represents. And, we’re all proud at the Ravens of the work they do to make this community and country better.”
- All team and league personnel on the field shall stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.
- The Game Operations Manual will be revised to remove the requirement that all players be on the field for the Anthem.
- Personnel who choose not to stand for the Anthem may stay in the locker room or in a similar location off the field until after the Anthem has been performed.
- A club will be fined by the League if its personnel are on the field and do not stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.
- Each club may develop its own work rules, consistent with the above principles, regarding its personnel who do not stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.
- The Commissioner will impose appropriate discipline on league personnel who do not stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.
NFL owners approved the policy Wednesday that allows players to protest during the National Anthem by staying in the locker room but forbids them from sitting or taking a knee if they’re on the field.
The kneeling began with quarterback Colin Kaepernick who did so to protest police brutality throughout the nation. Fellow teammates and players joined in by kneeling themselves, linking arms, or raising fists to show solidarity.
Teammates Kaepernick and Eric Reid are currently suing the league and alleging that NFL teams colluded to keep them unemployed after they began protesting.
Ravens fans recorded themselves burning their team gear last season after Baltimore players were among the first in the league to take a knee during the National Anthem following President Donald Trump’s harsh criticism of the practice.