INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - There has been a post circulating around social media claiming that the NFL's own rules require all players and other league personnel to stand during the National Anthem. It reads:
"The specific rule pertaining to the national anthem is found on pages A62-63 of the NFL League Rulebook. It states:
'The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem. During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition....It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses'."
That's a fake citation, though. Pages 62 and 63 of the 2017 version of the rulebook posted to the NFL's website only talk about fouls. In fact, that document never even mentions the National Anthem.
More than 200 NFL players sat or took a knee during the National Anthem before their games yesterday, according to an AP count - including 9 of the Colts. The most happened in Washington where nearly the entire Oakland Raiders team protested, in addition to six Redskins. No one sat or knelt at the Pittsburgh at Chicago game, although the Steelers stayed in the tunnel other than Army veteran Alejandro Villanueva, who stood outside the tunnel with his hand over his heart.
Outside the NFL, a WWII vet knelt with the players in solidarity of their protest. Meanwhile, a man who has worked at the Buffalo Bills' stadium for 30 years quit his job as soon as the National Anthem was over in his own protest of what he saw as disrespect for the flag and veterans.