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NFLPA formally challenges NFL’s national anthem policy

The players union has challenged the anthem policy put in place by the owners back in May.

NFL: Super Bowl LII-Philadelphia Eagles vs New England Patriots Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The debate surrounding kneeling players remains alive with training camp approaching. On Tuesday, the NFLPA filed a non-injury grievance to formally challenge the NFL’s national anthem policy introduced earlier this offseason.

”The union’s claim is that this new policy, imposed by the NFL’s governing body without consultation with the NFLPA, is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement and infringes on player rights,” a statement from the players union read. “In advance of our filing today, we propose to the NFL to begin confidential discussions with the NFLPA Executive Committee to find a solution to this issue instead of immediately proceeding with litigation. The NFL has agreed to proceed with those discussions and we look forward to starting them soon.”

NFL owners announced a new national anthem in May following an offseason meeting. The policy, which restricts the ability to protest during the anthem, does allow players to stay in the locker room until after the performance has concluded. Still, the union claims that because the league made the decision without involving additional parties, the policy cannot be enforced.

When the league and the union plan to meet remains unclear. However, both sides have plenty of motivation to enact a new, enforceable policy prior to the start of the 2018 regular season.