Futurity

Will new NFL policy stop kneeling during the national anthem?

Labor law expert William Gould predicts how the NFL's new policy about kneeling during the national anthem could play out.

Following several seasons of controversy, NFL owners today adopted a new policy directed at football players who protest during the national anthem, with stiff penalties for teams when players kneel on the field.

“…a First Amendment challenge based upon the Jehovah’s Witnesses litigation from the 1940s… may be the best avenue for the players.”

Labor law expert William Gould, professor emeritus at Stanford Law School, who served as chairman of the National Labor Relations Board in the 1990s, discusses teams and players’ rights and how this new policy might play out.

As NLRB chairman, he and his agency played a critical role in ending the longest strike in baseball history (1994-95)—and he was a salary arbitrator in the 1992 and 1993 salary disputes between the Major League Baseball Players Association and the Major League Baseball Player Relations Committee.

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