The NFL Players Association has retained multiple law firms to research the options for fighting the NFL's new national anthem policy implemented by the owners last month, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports.
Three weeks ago at their spring meeting, NFL owners changed the policy without input from or discussion with the NFL Players Association. It now mandates that all players not in in the locker room stand for the anthem and any player who wants to protest during the anthem must remain in the locker room.
Following the lead of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, several NFL players kneeled or raised a fist during the playing of the anthem last season to protest racial inequality and police brutality. It sparked a controversy and drew sharp criticism from President Donald J. Trump.
The owners' new rule drew the ire of the NFLPA and its members, including Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty, who called it "dumb."
More from Florio's report:
One potential challenge would come in the form of a “non-injury grievance” under the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The deadline for filing the grievance would come in late July, and the argument would be that the NFL failed to engage in good-faith bargaining with the union before taking away a right that the NFL had previously given to the players, and that the NFL had confirmed on multiple occasions.
Other forms of litigation are possible, according to Florio, including an action based on First Amendment protections in the U.S. and various state constitutions.
The Eagles' Malcolm Jenkins made a powerful statement about the current Trump-inspired NFL controversies -- over protests during the National Anthem, over Philly's aborted trip to the White House, over causes he and his fellow players are fighting for that Trump is attempting to paint as anti-military and anti-American -- today at the Eagles' mini-camp.
And, in so doing, he lauded several past and current New England players as "true Patriots."
Our friend Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philadelphia reported that "when Jenkins arrived at his [locker stall after practice Wednesday], surrounded by about 35 media members, in the Eagles' locker room around 2 p.m., he had a plan. Jenkins brought with him around 10 giant white poster-sized cards with black writing. As reporters began asking him questions, Jenkins simply kept showing the cards — the first of which said 'YOU AREN’T LISTENING' — to the cameras. The next card said, 'MORE THAN 60% OF PEOPLE IN PRISON ARE PEOPLE OF COLOR.' "
He proceeded to show other cards -- you can see them by clicking the link above -- and then reached this one:
McCourty, Slater and Harmon, of course, currently play for the Patriots. Watson and Bademosi are ex-Pats.
In later cards, he cited the work of McCourty, Slater, Harmon and Bademosi in lobbying to raise the age of those entering the criminal-justice system from 7 to 12. He complimented Watson (and DeMario Davis) for helping push through a bill restoring voting rights for returning citizens.
Troy Brown gives us his thoughts on President Trump uninviting the Philadelphia Eagles to the White House. The former Patriots wide receiver discusses why he thinks that teams shouldn't be visiting the White House at all, as the President has so many other important things that should occupy his time.