In a statement, commissioner Roger Goodell said, "all league and team personnel shall stand", and added, "It was unfortunate that on-field protests created a false perception among many that thousands of NFL players were unpatriotic".
According to the new policy, players and other franchise people who don't "show respect" during the National Anthem will cause their team to get fined. If a player takes the field for the anthem but then protests, the league will fine the team.
"I never want to put restrictions on the speech of our players", Johnson told Newsday.
Responding to criticism by President Trump of players who kneel or sit during the anthem, the Steelers were one of several National Football League teams to take a stand last season before their Week 3 game in Chicago. "I think they're afraid of their players, you want to know the truth".
"You have to stand proudly for the national anthem or you shouldn't be playing", Trump said in an interview that aired Thursday morning on "Fox & Friends" on Fox News. "Of course. But I understand if they felt the need to protest", he said.
"Well, I think the general public has a very strong view of what respect for the flag is and that moment", he said. "The fact that he's not in the league any more is a statement to what others feel about it".
According to the Associated Press, the National Football League considered several options, including keeping teams in their respective locker rooms until after the anthem had played.
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"I want to work with my team to make sure everything we do is about promoting the right types of social justice reform and getting to a better America", York said.
Trump has derided players and team owners for the kneeling protests on multiple occasions, sparking a debate as to whether the protests were disrespectful of the US military or an expression of First Amendment rights. It is unclear how individual players will respond to the new rules.
Johnson previously spoke out against the possibility of adopting any kind of policy requiring players to stand for the anthem.
Trump criticized players kneeling during the anthem during a rally last fall.
The NFL Players Association criticised the new policy, saying it was not consulted and that it may issue a challenge should it violate the collective bargaining agreement. "I don't think people should be staying in the locker rooms, but still I think it's good". At every NFL game, the American national anthem is played and all team staff and game attendees are expected to stand.
"That just goes to show you where we're at", Bethea said. "I believe that the union is going to go back and forth with them and we should just all stay in the locker room".