nfl protests trump zw js orig_00001313.jpg
nfl protests trump zw js orig_00001313.jpg
Now playing
02:26
#TakeAKnee heats up on and off the field
Malcolm Jenkins #27 of the Philadelphia Eagles raises his fist during the national anthem as Chris Long #56 puts his arm around him prior to the preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lincoln Financial Field on August 9, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Steelers defeated the Eagles 31-14. Mitchell Leff/Getty Images
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images
Malcolm Jenkins #27 of the Philadelphia Eagles raises his fist during the national anthem as Chris Long #56 puts his arm around him prior to the preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lincoln Financial Field on August 9, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Steelers defeated the Eagles 31-14. Mitchell Leff/Getty Images
Now playing
01:06
Trump to NFL players: Stand or be suspended
Mark Makela/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Now playing
01:52
Mayor: Trump 'childish' for nixing Eagles' visit
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 04:  Nick Foles #9 of the Philadelphia Eagles raises the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the New England Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium on February 4, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Patrick Smith/Getty Images
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 04: Nick Foles #9 of the Philadelphia Eagles raises the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the New England Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium on February 4, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Now playing
01:24
Eagles visit to White House canceled
CNN
Now playing
02:25
Panelist: Trump lives to divide our country
nate boyer ex green beret nfl player nfl anthem bts_00000000.jpg
CNN
nate boyer ex green beret nfl player nfl anthem bts_00000000.jpg
Now playing
01:46
Ex-Green Beret, NFLer weighs in on anthem rule
CNN
Now playing
01:38
Steve Kerr: NFL using anthem as fake patriotism
trump nfl anthem comment george martin sot newday_00002109.jpg
Fox News
trump nfl anthem comment george martin sot newday_00002109.jpg
Now playing
01:34
Trump: Maybe players who kneel shouldn't be in US
Now playing
01:45
Pence leaves NFL game over anthem kneeling
GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 25: Members of the Dallas Cowboys link arms and kneel during the National Anthem before the start of the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 25, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 25: Members of the Dallas Cowboys link arms and kneel during the National Anthem before the start of the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 25, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:42
CNN poll: Americans split on anthem protests
whpb 09282017
CNN
whpb 09282017
Now playing
02:41
Sanders, reporter spar on Trump's NFL comments
Sports Illustrated
Now playing
01:28
Curry slams latest Sports Illustrated cover
D Dipasupil/Getty Images
Now playing
01:21
ESPN suspends host Jemele Hill over tweets
Redskins cheerleaders
Getty Images
Redskins cheerleaders
Now playing
02:42
NFL cheerleaders: Topless photo shoot crossed the line
Vice President Mike Pence, front center, stands during the playing of the national anthem before an NFL football game between the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/AP
Vice President Mike Pence, front center, stands during the playing of the national anthem before an NFL football game between the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Now playing
01:47
How much did Pence's trip cost taxpayers?
NFL cheerleader IG
CNN HLN
NFL cheerleader IG
Now playing
02:45
NFL cheerleader's Instagram post gets her fired
(CNN) —  

NFL players must stand during the National Anthem this season, team owners decided Wednesday, a reaction to fierce backlash against some who took a knee in symbolic opposition to the systemic oppression of people of color, including by police.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said during a news conference at the meeting in Atlanta that teams whose players and personnel do not stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem will be fined by the league.

Each team may develop its own work rules regarding players or personnel who do not comply with the policy, which could include fines. The new policy does give players the option to remain in the locker room during the playing of the anthem if they do not wish to comply.

With this change, the NFL’s game operations manual will be revised to remove the requirement that all players be on the field for the anthem. Previously, there had been no rule that prevented players from protesting.

“We want people to be respectful to the National Anthem,” Goodell said. “We want people to stand, that’s all personnel, and make sure that they treat this moment in a respectful fashion that’s something I think we owe. We’ve been very sensitive in making sure that we give players choices, but we do believe that that moment is an important moment and one that we are going to focus on.”

The move by owners stems from the silent protests that began in 2016, when then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeled during the anthem to draw attention to racial injustice.

It also brought the wrath of President Donald Trump, who in 2017 said players’ kneeling showed “total disrespect for our great country.”

Goodell said that the vote was unanimous. However, 49ers CEO Jed York said he abstained. He wouldn’t confirm whether other teams had as well, saying he wouldn’t speak for anyone else.

“In terms of allowing teams to enforce their own workplace policies, I think that gives teams the comfort that you can determine what you want in your workplace,” York said.

York said he abstained because he wanted to make sure the 49ers organization focused on the progress aspect, not focus on the protests. He added that the 49ers wanted to take a broader approach and will close concession sales during the National Anthem.

“I don’t think we should profit during the National Anthem if we’re going to ask people to be respectful,” he said.

The NFL Players Association, which was not included in the talks with owners, said the union will review the new policy “and challenge any aspect of it that is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement.” Owners discussed the topic for two hours on Tuesday and one hour Wednesday, Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam said.

“The vote by NFL club CEOs today contradicts the statements made to our player leadership by Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Chairman of the NFL’s Management Council John Mara about the principles, values and patriotism of our League,” the association said in a statement.

In recent months, the league has worked toward a reported $90 million social justice partnership with the Players Coalition, using the NFL’s platform to highlight players’ efforts to curb injustice and to use political connections to push for legislative change.

The conversations in Atlanta came as two free-agent players, Kaepernick and Eric Reid, have filed separate grievances against the league, citing collusion in denying them jobs. Kaepernick and Reid both kneeled during the National Anthem when they were 49ers teammates, and Reid continued his protest last season. Kaepernick has been a free agent since March 2017.