The NFL, on Wednesday, released it’s policy for the 2018 season regarding the National Anthem.
After a season-and-a-half of demonstration by NFL players, the League has established rules surrounding the on-field presentation of the Flag and Anthem.
The statement from Commissioner Roger Goodell acknowledged the League’s commitment to its players and their rights.
The actual statement of the rule was brief:
"This season, all league and team personnel shall stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem. Personnel who choose not to stand for the anthem may stay in the locker room until after the anthem has been performed."
The Broncos Brandon Marshall through participation in the Anthem protests created dialogue with Denver Police Chief Robert White. The two met in September of 2016. Both men stated they came away from the meeting with a better understanding of each other. White had suggestions for Marshall and Marshall made clear to White that his protest was not intended to be disrespectful.
Following the September meeting, Marshall announced in a November Instagram post (@bmarshh) that he would drop his protest.
The discussion Marshall had sought was started and he embarked on an interactive partnership with the Denver Police Department that shed light on training and policy. The Department, for its part, committed to listening to Marshall and the community and to implement any needed training.
In Denver’s case, the protest served its purpose. Marshall took a hit to his reputation but that cost was offset by actual movement within the community. The DPD instituted de-escalation policy into it’s use-of-force procedure and Marshall donated $300 per tackle last season to Denver area youth groups.
Most importantly, the Denver Broncos and John Elway praised Marshall’s impact in the community. The support of the team and Marshall’s decision to stop the protest kept the Broncos situation from devolving into a side-show.
A situation handled correctly that produced results for both sides of the issue.