In response to a controversial National Football League (NFL) policy enforced earlier this year on the pre-game anthem protests, the National Football League Player’s Association (NFLPA) issued a non-injury grievance, arguing that the policy is an infringement on players’ freedoms.

Recently, the National Football League (NFL) imposed a pre-game policy that forces all NFL players to stand for the anthem. Players who do not wish to stand for the anthem must stay in their teams’ locker rooms until the anthem is finished. Otherwise, their respective teams will be fined if players do not abide by the new policy.

“The union’s claim is that this new policy, imposed by the NFL’s governing body without consultation with the NFLPA, is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement and infringes on player rights,” the NFLPA said in a statement.

The national debate on whether NFL players should kneel during the anthem began when quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeled to protest police brutality and racial injustice. Many NFL players followed suit in Kaepernick’s “take a knee” protest. Critics said the protests were “disrespectful of the American flag”.

“We want people to be respectful to the National Anthem,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. “We want people to stand, that’s all personnel, and make sure that they treat this moment in a respectful fashion that’s something I think we owe. We’ve been very sensitive in making sure that we give players choices, but we do believe that that moment is an important moment and one that we are going to focus on.”

This was further ignited as Kaepernick and the NFL’s battle took place during a fiery 2016 election. President Donald Trump advised NFL owners on tell kneeling players: “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, he’s fired. He’s fired!”

The conversation was reignited when many of the Philadelphia Eagles refused to come to the White House after their win.