Michael Thomas #31 of the Miami Dolphins and Kenny Stills #10 of the Miami Dolphins take a knee during the national anthem prior to the game against the New York Jets at the Hard Rock Stadium on November 6, 2016 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

< Go to Homepage

NFLPA Not Rushing to Resolve Anthem Issue Before Start of Season

The NFLPA wants closure on the situation, not to simply meet a contrived deadline.

We know the 2018 NFL season will begin on September 6 at Lincoln Financial Field.

What we don’t know is what will happen on the field beforehand during the national anthem.

And, based on what the head of the NFL Players Association said, as reported by The Undefeated, it seems pretty likely it will stay that way up until kickoff and beyond.

DeMaurice Smith said the NFLPA is not concerned with resolving its ongoing dialogue with the NFL regarding the anthem by the “contrived deadline” of the start of the season. Instead, the NFLPA’s executive director wants the situation to be resolved once and for all and is willing to take as much time as needed for that to happen, possibly the entire season if necessary.

“I don’t believe we should have a drop-dead day,” Smith said. “These are intractable issues that players feel passionately about. It’s issues of race. It’s issues of inequality. It’s issues of criminal reform and social justice reform. Now, I certainly understand the mentality of some people in the league who think that things should begin and things should end.”

Smith also threw his support behind Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid, the original anthem protesters. Both players are currently out of the NFL but have ongoing collusion lawsuits.

“Colin and Eric … should be in the National Football League. One hundred percent,” Smith said. “Do I believe that they are being unfairly targeted by the league? Yes. And that’s not only what we believe. That’s why we support them and why we’ve been working closely with their lawyers. They should be playing football. Without a doubt.”

Read the full story at The Undefeated