NFL

Chiefs down play national anthem questions

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The NFL unveiled its new policy regarding players standing for the national anthem before games, but Chiefs coach Andy Reid did not change his policy of preferring to keep the team’s response within the locker room.

Kansas City Chiefs players stood linked arm in arm along the sidelines during the national anthem before their season-opening game against the San Diego Chargers at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. Sept. 11, 2016 (Photo: Matt Derrick, ChiefsDigest.com)

“We understand the rule,” Reid said. “And so you go with it, and there will be a time when we address it and talk about it, but that will be within the team and no one else needs to know. It deals with all of us in that room.”

Reid said team chairman and CEO Clark Hunt apprised him of the proposal before Wednesday’s announcement, which reportedly had widespread support among the league’s owners.

“He let me know of the policy but we’re not going to get into all that right here,” Reid said.

Quarterback Patrick Mahomes said he hadn’t had much discussion about the issue with this teammates so far.

“No, not yet,” Mahomes said. “It just happened yesterday, so for me I haven’t got to really get into it.”

Arrowhead Stadium emerged as a bit of a lightning rod last season with former cornerback Marcus Peters choosing to take a seat on the bench during the national anthem. A compromise brokered midway through the season between result in Peters remaining in the locker room until after the national anthem concluded.

That solution closely mirrors the league’s new policy. Players on the field during the national anthem must stand, and teams can face a fine if players kneel or sit. Players who prefer not to stand may stay in the locker room. Individual teams may carry out their own policies covering player punishment for not standing during the anthem.

The coach said he hasn’t discussed the issue with his players yet, but says it will stay within the team when he does.

“I don’t mean to be rude with that, we just keep that in-house and we communicate when the communication needs to be taking care of, and we’ve always be good with that,” Reid said.

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Matt Derrick is the lead beat writer for ChiefsDigest.com. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @MattDerrick.

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