New York Jets Owner Christopher Johnson Says He Will Pay His Players’ Anthem-Related Fines
Earlier today, the NFL announced that they had passed a new policy that would force players on the field to stand for the national anthem or they could be subject to being fined by their team.
NFL owners have unanimously approved a new national anthem policy that requires players to stand if they are on the field during the performance but gives them the option to remain in the locker room if they prefer, it was announced Wednesday.
The policy subjects teams to a fine if a player or any other team personnel do not show respect for the anthem. That includes any attempt to sit or kneel, as dozens of players have done during the past two seasons to protest racial inequality and police brutality. Those teams will also have the option to fine any team personnel, including players, for the infraction.
New York Jets co-owner Christopher Johnson is not a fan of the league’s new rules and is willing pay the fines of any player on his team who chooses to kneel during the anthem.
“I do not like imposing any club-specific rules. If somebody [on the Jets] takes a knee, that fine will be borne by the organization, by me, not the players. I never want to put restrictions on the speech of our players. Do I prefer that they stand? Of course. But I understand if they felt the need to protest. There are some big, complicated issues that we’re all struggling with, and our players are on the front lines. I don’t want to come down on them like a ton of bricks, and I won’t. There will be no club fines or suspensions or any sort of repercussions. If the team gets fined, that’s just something I’ll have to bear.”
It is unclear how much the NFL will fine teams or if repeat offenders will be subject to larger fines throughout the course of the season.