Report: NFL likely won’t implement national anthem policy this season

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CARSON, CA - AUGUST 18: Melvin Gordon #28 and Philip Rivers #17 of the Los Angeles Chargers stand for the National Anthem before their presseason game against the Seattle Seahawksat StubHub Center on August 18, 2018 in Carson, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

“The new policy is going to be no policy.”

That’s what sources are telling ESPN about the NFL’s stance on a national anthem policy.

The anthem protests — meant to draw attention to racial injustice — have happened with varying participation since 2016, pulling the NFL into a public debate that has seen President Donald Trump call on team owners to stem them.

It all started in preseason 2016 when former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick declined to stand during the national anthem that precedes NFL games.

Then, Seattle Seahawks’ Jeremy Lane sat for the anthem. Days later, Seattle Reign FC player Megan Rapinoe was the first white athlete to take the knee, doing so before a professional soccer match, and then Denver Broncos’ Brandon Marshall became the first NFL player to do it in a regular-season game.

Eventually, it was an avalanche of players and teams who decided to take a knee during the national anthem, and the divisive debate has continued ever since.

In May, the NFL passed a policy stating that “all league and team personnel shall stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem,” but that policy was put on hold in July.

The NFL has held countless meetings and conversations over where to go from here, ESPN reports, but so far, feelings are too strong on both sides to find a compromise.

Kaepernick has made headlines again this week after Nike made him the face of its 30th anniversary “Just Do It” advertising campaign. Nike’s decision has prompted protests and boycotts, though sales are up 31 percent, according to reports.

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