NFL won't fine players who stay in locker room during anthem, league says

Seattle Seahawks player walk onto the field with interlocking arms before the game against the Tennessee Titans Nissan Stadium. Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
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The NFL has no plans to fine players who do not come out of the locker room for the national anthem.

That's according to a report from NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, citing league spokesman Joe Lockhart.

After President Donald Trump's comments two weeks ago that players who do not stand for the national anthem should be fired, some teams responded the following Sunday by staying in the locker room until after the anthem. The Seattle Seahawks were one of them.

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Last week, teams came out on the field and had varying levels of response. Some stood with locked arms. Some teams kneeled before the anthem played then stood during the performance. Some individual players continued to kneel.

Nine members of the Seattle Seahawks sat on the bench during the anthem last Sunday. One of them was defensive end Michael Bennett, who has sat since the start of the preseason. Joining him last Sunday were fellow defensive linemen Cliff Avril, Frank Clark, Sheldon Richardson, Jarran Reed, Nazair Jones, Garrison Smith, and Marcus Smith. Linebacker Michael Wilhoite also sat.