NFLPA files challenge to league's national anthem policy

NEW YORK (KGO) -- The NFL Players Association filed a non-injury grievance Tuesday challenging the legitimacy of the NFL's new national anthem policy on several grounds.

The NFLPA argues that kneeling during the anthem does not qualify as "detrimental conduct", evidenced by the fact that the league has said players have the right to use their platform to elevate issues important to them, according to our sister network ESPN.

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The union says that the new policy, which the league imposed without consultation with the NFLPA, is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement and infringes on players' rights.

In May, the NFL approved its national anthem policy at its owners meetings in Atlanta. The policy allows players to protest during the national anthem by staying in the locker room, but forbids them from sitting or taking a knee if they're on the field or the sidelines.

RELATED: 49ers abstain from vote on NFL policy requiring players on field to stand for anthem

When the league announced the policy, Commissioner Roger Goodell called it a compromise aimed at putting the focus back on football after a tumultuous year in which television ratings dipped nearly 10 percent; some blamed the protests for such a drop. The union said at that time that it would file a grievance against any change in the collective bargaining agreement.

The union said Tuesday it has proposed having its executive committee talking to the NFL instead of proceeding with litigation. The union said the NFL has agreed to those discussions.

The NFL did not immediately comment about the union's action.

Full coverage on national anthem protests and the NFL's new policy here.
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