July 20, 2018 / 2:20 AM / 3 months ago

League and union 'working on a resolution' to anthem issue

(Reuters) - The NFL and the union representing its players are working on a resolution to the league’s national anthem policy, the two sides said in a joint statement on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: Washington Redskins tight end Niles Paul (84) and linebacker Ryan Anderson (52) and Washington Redskins linebacker Chris Carter (55) kneel with teammates during the playing of the national anthem before the game between the Washington Redskins and the Oakland Raiders at FedEx Field in Landover, MD, U.S., September 24, 2017. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

The update comes a week after the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) filed a grievance over the league’s new requirement that players stand for the national anthem or wait in their dressing rooms.

“The NFL and NFLPA, through recent discussions, have been working on a resolution to the anthem issue,” the two sides said in a statement.

“In order to allow this constructive dialogue to continue, we have come to a standstill agreement on the NFLPA’s grievance and on the NFL’s anthem policy.”

The NFL’s policy, which was announced in May, followed U.S. President Donald Trump’s denunciation of pregame protests which were intended to call attention to what critics say is often brutal treatment of minorities by U.S. law enforcement.

Trump and others have blasted the gesture as a sign of disrespect to the U.S. flag and the military.

The NFLPA’s claim when it filed its grievance was that the new policy was inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement and infringed on player rights.

In the joint statement, the NFL and NFLPA said no new rules relating to the anthem will be issued or enforced for the next several weeks while the confidential discussions are ongoing.

“The NFL and NFLPA reflect the great values of America, which are repeatedly demonstrated by the many players doing extraordinary work in communities across our country to promote equality, fairness and justice,” the statement read.

“Our shared focus will remain on finding a solution to the anthem issue through mutual, good faith commitments, outside of litigation.”

Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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