Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson said he was fine with the NFL's new national anthem policy, telling TMZ Sports "everybody has a right to do what they want to do" and adding he liked that players will have the option to remain in the locker room if they so choose.
"You can't please everybody. By saying this, you know somebody's not going to like it," he said. "It is what it is. It's like religion and raising your kids: Nobody's going to agree with you all the time.
"Everybody has a disagreement on how you raise your kids, religion, politics. So my thing is that I stood when we played. And I would still stand."
The NFL's new anthem policy requires players to stand for its playing if they choose to be on the field at that time, though they can also remain in the locker room. Players who protest during the anthem, however—many players have taken a knee to protest racial inequality and police brutality in the past two seasons—will subject their teams to fines from the league office.
Additionally, teams may fine players or personnel who do not stand during the anthem.
"We want people to be respectful of the national anthem," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday, per Kevin Seifert and Dan Graziano of ESPN.com. "We want people to stand—that's all personnel—and make sure they treat this moment in a respectful fashion. That's something we think we owe. [But] we were also very sensitive to give players choices."
That decision was a controversial one, with many players publicly disagreeing with the league on its new policy and New York Jets chairman Christopher Johnson saying he would pay any fines if Jets players chose to protest:
While those players and other critics of the NFL's decision failed to see the compromise in the new rule—Cleveland Browns quarterback Tyrod Taylor pointed out that the players had no input on the new policy, according to Seifert and Graziano— Dickerson said the league found a middle ground.
"This gives you a choice," he said. "I think that's a good thing."