The National Football League passed a new national anthem policy at the owners meetings in Atlanta, Georgia, Wednesday, and it is outlined here. The policy is in response to league players protesting social and racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem.
The protest first began in 2016 with then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
49ers owner Jed York was the only owner to abstain from the vote, which was otherwise unanimously in favor of the new anthem policy.
The release of the policy was met with scrutiny from the NFL Players Association, which quickly responded with a statement via its official Twitter account.
Other players around the league also weighed in, but as of this writing, no Kansas City Chiefs have publicly responded via social media.
Thursday marked the first Kansas City Chiefs media availability since the decision, and head coach Andy Reid said chairman and CEO Clark Hunt alerted him of the new policy, but the Chiefs plan to keep how they will handle it “in-house.”
“I don’t want this to be slighted, but we never discuss those things,” Reid said. “I don’t mean to be rude, but we keep it in-house and we communicate when the communication needs to be taken care of and we’ve always been good with that. So, it’s not to be rude to anybody. We understand the rule, and so, you go with it and they’ll 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. That’s not anything to slight anybody or any situation or anything. Please don’t take it that way.”
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes confirmed the team has yet to have any real discussion about it.
“No, not yet,” Mahomes said. “It just happened [Wednesday] so, for me, I haven’t got to really get into it.”
Hunt said in November of 2017 that he would prefer the players to stand for the anthem, so it is unclear how the Chiefs will proceed in their response.
That in mind, the Chiefs traded the player most frequently associated to the protest to the Los Angeles Rams this offseason, and the only rostered Chiefs I can remember having ever protested during the anthem in the past are linebacker Ukeme Eligwe and running back Kareem Hunt, tight end Travis Kelce, LBs Justin Houston (Houston chose to pray) and Tanoh Kpassagnon—the latter four of which came in direct response to President Donald Trump in September of 2017 in Los Angeles.
Peters opted to protest every game.
The Chiefs’ course of action on the matter is nothing new for Reid, who has shown a tendency in the past to keep sensitive topics in-house.
Odds are we learn more as time goes on leading up to Week 1.