The NFL wants to put its national anthem controversy to bed.
What started in 2016 with 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling in protest during the national anthem, eventually spreading to other teams and players, has created a rift among NFL fans—a rift not likely to be healed by the league’s decision.
The protests—an outgrowth of the #BlackLivesMatter movement—were intended to highlight the mistreatment and deaths of African-Americans in the U.S. at the hands of police.
Team owners voted this week to require players to stand during the anthem or stay in the locker room.
Amid repeated protests during the playing of the national anthem over the past two seasons, the NFL on Wednesday passed a revised policy that mandates players and team personnel present on the sideline “shall stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.”