The NFL is facing a legal challenge over a new legislative proposal to amend its collective bargaining agreement to allow for a rule change that would require players to stand for the national anthem before games.
The NFL Players Association filed the challenge with the U.S. Supreme Court last month.
The league is seeking to have the court rule that the amendment would violate the Constitution.
NFLPA spokesman Dan Goure said Thursday the league’s position was “unresolved.”
He said the league believes it’s already in compliance with the constitution.
“The NFLPA believes the amendment is unconstitutional, and we’re in compliance,” Goure told NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport on Thursday.
“We’ve been told by our lawyers that they are.
We’re going to have to have our way, and if the courts decide to come down against us, we will be in compliance.”
The league’s proposed amendment would allow players to kneel during the national anthems before games, regardless of their position on the team.
The proposal is backed by former New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning and former Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano.
The amendment would also require players who kneel to be on the field before kickoff.
It would allow them to remain on the sidelines during the anthem if they kneel on the sideline during the playing of the national a cappella song.
“This is a very clear attempt to use the National Anthem to target the people who are making the protests,” NFLPA President DeMaurice Smith said in a statement.
“The NFL is the largest employer in the world, and the only professional sport in America that has an unwritten code of conduct, which includes the kneeling and sitting during the National anthemms.”
NFL players protest against racial injustice, police brutality and police brutality against African-Americans in Washington, D.C., March 3, 2021.
The legislation would also create a “duty of care” for players, which would require them to report any alleged violations to the league.
The draft legislation would create an independent arbitrator to determine whether the rule change is constitutional.
The arbitration board would be overseen by a commissioner, who would decide if it would violate constitutional protections.
The arbitrator would then determine if it could be overturned by the court.
NFL spokesman Dan Touhey declined to comment on the arbitrator’s decision.
The ruling would likely be appealed to the Supreme Court.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.