Bills Owner and President Kim Pegula, who was attending the NFL owners meetings in Atlanta this week, issued a statement in the wake of the league's new policy to address the kneeling that was conducted by players during the national anthem in an effort to bring awareness for social injustice and equality.
With respect to the national anthem before games, the league's ownership enacted a policy in which 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.
"We are proud of the work the league and our players have done over the course of the year to help strengthen our communities, raise awareness on issues of social injustice, and help find solutions," Pegula said in a statement. "The policy instituted today will have no effect on that whatsoever. Our communication has been strong with the leaders of our team and that will continue. I plan on meeting with Coach McDermott, Brandon Beane and players in the near future to reiterate that."
The league issued the following policy statement regarding the national anthem for the 2018 season.
The 32 member clubs of the National Football League have reaffirmed their strong commitment to work alongside our players to strengthen our communities and advance social justice. The unique platform that we have created is unprecedented in its scope, and will provide extraordinary resources in support of programs to promote positive social change in our communities.
The membership also strongly believes that:
- All team and league personnel on the field shall stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem.
2.The Game Operations Manual will be revised to remove the requirement that all players be on the field for the anthem.
- Personnel who choose not to stand for the anthem may stay in the locker room or in a similar location off the field until after the anthem has been performed.
- A club will be fined by the League if its personnel are on the field and do not stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem.
- Each club may develop its own work rules, consistent with the above principles, regarding its personnel who do not stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem.
- The commissioner will impose appropriate discipline on league personnel who do not stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem.