ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
82°
Chance of T-storms
H 84° L 72°
  • cloudy-day
    82°
    Current Conditions
    Chance of T-storms. H 84° L 72°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
    84°
    Today
    Chance of T-storms. H 84° L 72°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
    86°
    Tomorrow
    Partly Cloudy T-storms. H 86° L 69°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb news on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb weather on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Sports
NFL owners adopt new policy on national-anthem protests
Close

NFL owners adopt new policy on national-anthem protests

.

NFL owners adopt new policy on national-anthem protests

NFL owners adopted a new policy Wednesday aimed at ending – or at least concealing from public view – player protests during the national anthem before games. 

The policy, approved by the owners at the league’s spring meetings in Atlanta, will require players who are on the field to “stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem.” However, the policy will provide the option for players who choose not to stand to remain “in the locker room or a similar location off the field” until after the anthem is performed. 

The owners’ action came after much controversy the past two years over some players kneeling during the anthem. 

Under the policy adopted Wednesday, teams will be fined by the league if any of their players or other personnel are on the field and do not show respect for the anthem.  In turn, it will be up to individual teams whether to fine or otherwise punish their players for violations of the policy.

» More: Read the new policy

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was flanked by four owners when he announced the measure in a Buckhead hotel ballroom. The announcement followed several hours of discussion by the owners about the issue during their two-day meetings here. 

“Clearly our objective as a league … is that we want people to be respectful of the national anthem,” Goodell said. “We want people to stand – that’s all personnel – and make sure they treat this moment in a respectful fashion. That’s something we think we owe. 

“We were very sensitive to making sure we give players choices, but we do believe that moment is an important moment.”

Players previously were required to be on the field for the anthem. 

The owners hope their action will take attention off the controversy and return the focus to the games. 

“I think it has been a good discussion internally coming up with this policy,” Arizona Cardinals owner Michael Bidwell said. “(We) look forward to getting the focus back on football, getting back to football in 2018.” 

That may be wishful thinking to some degree, judging from the immediate reaction of the NFL Players Association. 

The NFLPA said in a written statement that the league “chose to not consult the union in the development of this new ‘policy.’” The union said it will “challenge any aspect of it that is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement.” 

“NFL players have shown their patriotism through their social activism, their community service, in support of our military and law enforcement and, yes, through their protests to raise awareness about the issues they care about,” the union’s statement said. 

The union also said the policy “contradicts the statements made to our player leadership” by Goodell and NFL Management Council chairman John Mara “about the principles, values and patriotism of our league.”

Asked what he would say to the union about its statement, Goodell said:  “Anything I have to say to the union, I’ll say to them directly.”

Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney II said the policy considered a wide range of perspectives.

“Obviously, we want to continue to work with our players and make sure that they feel their point of view has been respected,” Rooney said. “Those who are not comfortable standing for the anthem have the right to stay off the field, so we’re not forcing anybody to stand who doesn’t feel that’s within the way they feel about particular subjects. 

“I think that we listened to a lot of different viewpoints, including our fans, over the past year.” 

Falcons owner Arthur Blank wasn’t available for comment after the owners’ vote – he was traveling to New York for a Wednesday night event -- but in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday, he expressed support for a measure such as the one adopted. 

Blank has backed the players, but he nonetheless said Tuesday he thinks they should stand for the anthem and accurately predicted the NFL would adopt a policy reflecting that.

In a written statement that preceded his news conference Wednesday, Goodell said: “It was unfortunate that on-field protests created a false perception among many that thousands of NFL players were unpatriotic. This is not and was never the case.”

The national-anthem issue first arose for the NFL in the 2016 season, starting as a protest by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick against police brutality and racial injustice. The protests grew around the league last season.

Goodell said the new policy was approved unanimously by the owners, but 49ers owner Jed York told reporters he abstained from the vote. 

Other actions taken by the owners on the final day of their meetings Wednesday included awarding the 2023 Super Bowl to Glendale, Ariz., the 2024 Super Bowl to New Orleans and the 2019 NFL draft to Nashville.

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

News

  • The body of a woman who went missing while kayaking on a Troup County lake has been found. Someone called sheriff’s officials about 9 a.m. Monday to say they saw a body in the water, authorities said. Just after noon, the sheriff’s office confirmed the body was that of Maranda Whitten, 24, of Valley, Ala.  “The search for Maranda Whitten has unfortunately been suspended,” sheriff’s Sgt. Stewart Smith said in an emailed statement. “Maranda was found earlier this morning, a victim of an apparent drowning. As standard procedure her body will be sent to the state crime lab for an autopsy. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be Maranda’s family. We appreciate all those who have gave of their time and resources during this time.” Whitten’s body was found with an extension cord, which was missing from the campground, tied to her ankles, then tied to a large rock, he said. Her death is being treated as a suicide, according to Smith. Whitten was last seen Friday. Officials said she was on a family camping trip at Shaefer Heard Park when she disappeared while kayaking on West Point Lake, which is about 82 miles southwest of downtown Atlanta.  “Around 12:30 p.m., some campers saw her kayaking out in the water and shortly after that, a storm came through and around 2:30 her kayak was seen floating into the water with the paddle and the life jacket,' Smith said. Investigators from the sheriff's office, several other agencies and some civilian volunteers searched Saturday and Sunday for Whitten.
  • Fans swarmed the Varsity’s Midtown restaurant Saturday to get 90-cent deals on the iconic chili-dog chain’s 90th anniversary. It was an all-hands-on-deck day for the North Avenue landmark: Members of the family that owns the restaurant directed traffic in the jammed parking lot and had to turn away the overflow. But the family faces bigger tests for the business. One is how to grow it. The other is more basic. “We want the brand to survive all of our generations,” said John Browne, the Varsity’s vice president and husband of one of Varsity founder Frank Gordy’s grandchildren. Another of Gordy’s grandchildren, Gordon Muir, is the Varsity’s president, and a great-grandchild, Ashley Weiser, oversees the chain’s marketing. “We are on generation four,” Browne said. “We are studying how to make this last through generation 10.” » RELATED: Growing up in Athens, the Varsity’s other hometown » RELATED: Photos of the Varsity through the years » RELATED: Podcast makes a visit to the Varsity Some decisions are taking longer than expected. They’ve been contemplating opening a restaurant in Winder for about five years. They’ve considered another in Auburn, Alabama, for maybe a decade. More recently they bought nearly the entire block around their Athens restaurant at the corner of Broad Street and Milledge Avenue and tore down buildings of other businesses that had been there. What will they ultimately use the land for? “We don’t know that yet,” Browne said. “Right now we are planting grass.” “This family is a generational investor,” he said. “We have learned we are better at purchasing and owning land, not developing it. We are just worn-out old hot dog men.” The Varsity, which opened in 1928, is owned by the founder’s daughter and her two surviving biological children. But a bigger group of family members — 22 in all — are convening for a retreat in September to discuss the family business. They had a somewhat similar gathering earlier this year, and they’ve hired a family business consultant to help them as they think about the future of the company. More than two years ago they brought in a consultant to help them survey customers and contemplate potential future restaurant locations.  But they haven’t opened a new stand-alone restaurant since locating one in Dawsonville several years ago. (They also closed one in Alpharetta.) » RELATED: Photo gallery from Saturday’s birthday bash One part of the business will remain constant, Browne said. “We are not changing anything as far as the food.” That continues to be a draw. So does generational customer loyalty, passed down from parents to children. That and 90-cent prices Saturday attracted big crowds to the intown Varsity near Georgia Tech. Hundreds of people stood outside in lines that snaked through the parking lot. One woman said she waited 40 minutes just to get to the threshold of one of the restaurant’s entrances. Cars were backed up along Spring Street. “I’ve been here 33 years,” said Gordon Muir, The Varsity’s president, “and I’ve never seen a line out the door and to the sidewalk.” Another first, he said: They repeatedly had to turn drivers away from the packed parking lot. A vintage firetruck that was part of the planned party had to be turned away initially; there was no room for it. Some customers put in giant orders: 150 to 200 hot dogs each, Muir said. All the Varsity’s stand-alone locations were “very busy,” he said. Pam Aiken made the trek to Midtown from her home in Snellville. “I’ve been coming here since birth almost,” said the 72-year-old, who grew up in Atlanta. It was a top spot as a teenager after movies. Carhops, she said, would jump on the hoods or trunks of customers’ cars and ride them in. The food, Aiken said, “is an acquired taste.” She planned to order her usual: chili steak, onion rings or fries and a P.C. (a cup of plain chocolate milk drizzled over shaved ice, according to The Varsity’s unique lingo). Sonya Ferguson, 59, of Decatur remembered her dad bringing her Varsity meals as a child. She came back Saturday for more. She said she isn’t sure the family who owns The Varsity really wants it to get much bigger, given the potential risks for any business making dramatic changes. Perhaps, she said, “they like it just the way it is.” »THE ACCESSATLANTA PODCAST GOES TO THE VARSITY  At ajc.com/podcasts, check out our weekly accessAtlanta podcast’s visit to the Varsity in advance of the 90th anniversary celebration. Hear interviews with staff and customers and get the story of the beloved fast-food spot’s past, present and future from president Gordon Muir.
  • A woman is recovering after she was stabbed and beaten in her home by a man she met online, according to Clinton police. >> Read more trending news Officers were called just after midnight Saturday to the emergency room at Golden Valley Memorial Hospital. A woman with severe injuries had been dropped off at the hospital by a man who told staff that they had been robbed. However, the victim told police that she was actually attacked by the man, identified as 39-year-old Michael Pullums, of Country Club Hills, Illinois. Authorities said the woman had met Pullums online and started a relationship with him. He was in Clinton on Saturday to visit her, according to police. Officials said that while at her home, the victim and Pullums got into an argument that escalated into a physical confrontation. “The man stabbed her several times with a knife and a pair of scissors and then (he) strangled her,” police said Monday in a news release. After the attack started the woman played dead, hoping to create an opening to flee from Pullums, authorities said. She tried to run outside to escape the attack, but officials said Pullums caught her behind her home and beat her with a metal chair. “Only when he heard sirens, which turned out to be from a passing ambulance, did he stop his attack on her,” police said. Pullums loaded the woman into her vehicle and drove her to the emergency room, where he told staff they had been robbed, officials said. He left the hospital in the victim’s vehicle, according to police. He was arrested a few hours later after deputies in Warren County, Missouri, spotted the victim’s car headed back to Illinois. Police said Pullums was still covered in the victim’s blood when deputies found him. He was arrested on charges of first-degree domestic violence with serious physical injury.
  • A northeast Georgia woman was arrested after she called 911 on herself and reported she accidentally left her 3-year-old son in a car for about three hours, officials said. >> Read more trending news  Alejandra Suarez, 26, of Gainesville, is in the Hall County Jail on a charge of second-degree cruelty to children, sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Scott Ware said Monday in an emailed statement. Just after 8 p.m. Aug. 13, Suarez realized her oversight and called 911, according to the sheriff’s office. “She stated that she had dropped off her other two children at their grandmother’s home, and the third child had apparently fallen asleep in the car,” Ware said in the statement. “Ms. Suarez departed the grandmother’s home without realizing this and did not discover the child until sometime after she had already been back at home.” Deputies found the child at the grandmother’s residence in the 2300 block of 4th Street in the Chicopee Village area of Gainesville. He was taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center as a precaution and released. “The child,” Ware said, “is in good physical condition.” >> Trending: Woman chases down man she said recorded daughter change in store's dressing room And while Suarez was “cooperative with investigators throughout the course of this investigation,” a warrant was issued for her arrest on Friday. She was arrested Sunday and taken to the county jail.  Bond has not been set at this time. “This case remains under investigation,” Ware said.
  • Manley says family members of the victim told him Delkic was beaten and tortured at a Bosnian prison before immigrating here. He calls the death senseless.
  • A TSA agent brought smiles to the security line after he showed off his dance moves and competition skills with a young flyer. Joshua McCall noticed a boy was dancing as his family of five was going through security at Newark Liberty International Airport, USA Today reported. The boy then challenged McCall to a dance-off.  The TSA posted the ensuing battle to its Instagram account, where it took off.  >> Read more trending news  New Jersey TSA federal security director Tom Carter said employees accept dancing challenges as long as all passengers are secure, according to the Instagram post, USA Today reported.