Are Professional Athletes Required To Stand During the National Anthem?

Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- President Donald Trump continues to criticize NFL players who protested during the National Anthem. In a series of tweets Monday morning, the President said it's "about respect for our country." 

NFL players sounded off Sunday after President Trump's comments in regards to players standing during the national anthem. Players and owners linked arms, kneeled, or some like Julius Peppers with the Carolina Panthers, sat inside the locker room.

"There's only a few times in a man's life where you have a chance to stand up in something that you believe in and make a statement. Today I thought it was that chance, so I took it," said Peppers.

With recent controversy between the national anthem and professional sports, News 19 checked with leagues across the nation and their rules for it.

The NFL doesn't have rules where players are required to stand for the national anthem. 

NASCAR team owners, like Richard Petty, made comments this past weekend, saying that they would fire team members for protesting during the national anthem. The racing organization said there is no rule in the handbook addressing the national anthem and released the following statement: "Sports are a unifying influence in our society, bringing people of differing backgrounds and beliefs together. Our respect for the national anthem has always been a hallmark of our pre-race events. Thanks to the sacrifices of many, we live in a country of unparalleled freedoms and countless liberties, including the right to peacefully express one's opinion."

Out on the hardwood of the NBA, there's a rule in the handbook stating that players, coaches and trainers are to stand during the playing of the national anthem.

The rule book states,"Players, coaches and trainers are to stand and lne up in a dignified posture along the sidelines or on the foul line during the playing of the national anthem."

For Major League Baseball, there is no rule in the handbook addressing conduct during the national anthem and released the following statement:

"Major League Baseball has a longstanding tradition of honoring our nation prior to the start of our games. We also respect that each of our players is an individual with his own background, perspectives and opinions. We believe that our game will continue to bring our fans, their communities and our players together."

U.S. Soccer players must "stand respectfully" during the national anthem before national team games.

News 19 was unable to find the rules in regards to the national anthem for the National Hockey League.

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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