— Newsday Sports (@NewsdaySports) May 23, 2018
New York Jets owner Christopher Johnson announced on Wednesday that he will pay any fine a player incurs for kneeling during the national anthem.
New York Jets owner Christopher Johnson is standing by his players whether they kneel for the National Anthem or not. Bob Glauber of Newsday reported Johnson’s stance of not allowing the NFL to dictate how a player can voice his opinion. Johnson told him:
“I do not like imposing any club-specific rules,” Johnson said. “If somebody [on the Jets] takes a knee, that fine will be borne by the organization, by me, not the players. I never want to put restrictions on the speech of our players. Do I prefer that they stand? Of course. But I understand if they felt the need to protest. There are some big, complicated issues that we’re all struggling with, and our players are on the front lines. I don’t want to come down on them like a ton of bricks, and I won’t. There will be no club fines or suspensions or any sort of repercussions. If the team gets fined, that’s just something I’ll have to bear.”
Earlier on Wednesday, the NFL announced it’s new policy regarding kneeling during the Anthem. The new policy calls for all team and league personnel on the field to “stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.” The new policy now states that not all players will be required to be on the field during the anthem and may stay in the locker room if they choose. Previously, players were required to be on the field for the anthem.
The New York Jets never had a player kneel during the Anthem last season, instead, they all interlocked their arms as a sign of team unity.
Johnson released a statement following the NFL’s Anthem statement stating that he disagreed with the new policy and he would support and work closely with his players with the issues of social justice that are important to the team.
Statement from Chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson pic.twitter.com/4JObk43oDT
— New York Jets (@nyjets) May 23, 2018