(WVLT) -- The NFL has passed new policy regarding players who take a knee during the national anthem.
The policy states that all players and personnel should stand during it. However it revised the policy requiring that all players be on the field for the national anthem, so those who don't wish to stand can stay in the locker room or a similar location until the song is complete.
If players or personnel don't show the proper respect to the flag or anthem, a club will be subject to fines. Each team has the opportunity to develop its own policy regarding on-field personnl who don't show the appropriate level of respect while the anthem is being played.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement on the change, saying it is "extraordinary in its scope, resources, and alignment with our players."
"The effort by many of our players sparked awareness and action around issues of social justice that must be addressed," Goodell said. "The platform that we have created together is certainly unique in professional sports and quite likely American business. We are honored to work with our players to drive progress."
Goodell said it was "unfortunate" that the on-field protests led Americans to believe that thousands of players were "unpatriotic."
"This is not and never was the case," Goodell said. "We believe today's decision will keep our focus on the game and the extraordinary athletes who play it — and on our fans who enjoy it."