Chris Long Rips NFL's New Anthem Rules: 'This Is Not Patriotism'

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 23, 2018

Philadelphia Eagles' Chris Long (56), Malcolm Jenkins (27) and Rodney McLeod (23) gesture during the National Anthem before an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Matt Rourke/Associated Press

The NFL announced a new policy for the national anthem Wednesday, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, and Eagles defensive end Chris Long is among those who disagree with the rule changes. 

The veteran discussed his thoughts on Twitter Wednesday:

Long has not personally kneeled during the national anthem, but he has shown support for the African American players who have taken part in protests. Last season, he put his arm around teammate Malcolm Jenkins, who would raise his fist during the national anthem.

As part of the rule changes, players are required to "show respect for the flag and the anthem" while on the field, but they have a choice to remain in the locker room instead. According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Steelers owner Art Rooney believes that raising a fist or locking arms during the anthem would count as disrespect.

The measure was unanimously adopted, according to Rapoport, although San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York said he abstained from the vote, per Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times.

As Long mentioned, the decision seems designed to appease President Donald Trump, who railed against the NFL last season for not forcing players to stand for the anthem.

Long has been an outspoken opponent of the president over the past few years. After winning Super Bowl 51 with the New England Patriots, he refused to visit the White House. He is likewise preparing not to go to the White House again this year despite winning the Super Bowl with the Eagles.

Last season, Long donated his entire base salary to various educational charities.

While NFL owners are seemingly pleased with the changes regarding the anthem, Long is clearly among the players who don't think the new policy is fair.

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