Report: NFL Considering 15-Yard Penalty For Kneeling During National Anthem [UPDATE]

UPDATE: NFL sets new policy. Stand for the flag or stay in the locker room!

This story has been updated. 

From ESPN:

ATLANTA -- NFL owners have unanimously approved a new national anthem policy that requires players to stand if they are on the field during the performance but gives them the option to remain in the locker room if they prefer, it was announced Wednesday.

The new policy subjects teams to a fine if a player or any other team personnel do not show appropriate respect for the anthem. That includes any attempt to sit or kneel, as dozens of players have done during the past two seasons. Those teams will also have the option to fine any team personnel, including players, for the infraction.

"This season, all league and team personnel shall stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "Personnel who choose not to stand for the Anthem may stay in the locker room until after the Anthem has been performed.

"We believe today's decision will keep our focus on the game and the extraordinary athletes who play it -- and on our fans who enjoy it."

A vote took place at the conclusion of the league's spring meeting and was approved by all 32 owners.

NFL owners, during a meeting Tuesday, reportedly considered a new punishment for players who choose to kneel during the national anthem: a 15-yard penalty against the team.

Under the proposal, the home team would decide whether both sides should be on the field during the Star Spangled Banner -- and if so, 15-yard penalties could be handed out if anyone kneels, Sports Illustrated reported.

The report did not indicate who made the proposal, and it was unclear how much support or opposition it received. The NFL did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

The proposal would represent a notably different response from the NFL after a wave of national anthem protests, which were started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

NFL tweet

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