July 11, 2018

NFL Players’ Union Challenges Pregame Kneeling Ban

The National Football League Players Association filed a grievance over the national anthem policy the league introduced in May, the union announced July 10.

“The union’s claim is that this new policy, imposed by the NFL’s governing body without consultation with the NFLPA, is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement and infringes on player rights,” a statement from the union said.

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The NFLPA reached out to the league to discuss a compromise before any legal proceedings begin, he said. If both sides can find a compromise before then and before the start of training camp, the union would retract the grievance. Training camp for some teams starts as early as July 16.

The players could have a reasonable chance to win the argument that the NFL changed employment terms without consulting the union, James Quinn, a sports and entertainment attorney with Berg & Androphy, said. The language in the bargaining contract is clear on the need to consult the union on employment terms, he said.

However, it’s not likely both sides could reach a compromise on the controversial issue during their talks, he said. “The problem is that the relationship between the union and the league is somewhat dysfunctional,” he said.

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