NFL will require all players to stand during national anthem or stay in locker room

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Members of the Indianapolis Colts stand and kneel for the national anthem prior to the start of the game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Cleveland Browns at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 24, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

ATLANTA — NFL owners have approved a new policy aimed at addressing the firestorm over national anthem protests, permitting players to stay in the locker room during the “The Star-Spangled Banner” but requiring them to stand if they come to the field.

The decision was announced Wednesday by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell during the league’s spring meeting in Atlanta.

In a sign that players were not part of the discussions, any violations of the policy would result in fines against the team — not the players. The NFL Players Association said it will challenge any part of the new policy that violates the collective bargaining agreement.

The owners spent several hours addressing the contentious issue — which has reached all the way to the White House.

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016, a quiet but powerful protest against police brutality and racial inequities in the justice system.

Other players took up the cause.

Below is the official statement from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.