Jaguars owner Shad Khan released a statement on Wednesday following the announcement of the NFL's new national anthem policy.
"We all want the same thing – respect for our nation and the flag, the focus on our game and a pledge to advancing social justice that will be absolute and stand the test of time," Khan said in a team-released statement. "I believe we’re closer to that today, and I know that the Jacksonville Jaguars will be committed to those ideals this season and into the future."
Khan notably locked arms with his players during the national anthem in London prior to the team's matchup against the Baltimore Ravens at Wembley Stadium last season.
"It was a privilege to stand on the sidelines with the Jacksonville Jaguars today for the playing of the U.S. national anthem at Wembley Stadium," Khan said following the September demonstration.
"I met with our team captains prior to the game to express my support for them, all NFL players and the league following the divisive and contentious remarks made by President Trump, and was honored to be arm in arm with them, their teammates and our coaches during our anthem. Our team and the National Football League reflects our nation, with diversity coming in many forms – race, faith, our views and our goals. We have a lot of work to do, and we can do it, but the comments by the President make it harder. That’s why it was important for us, and personally for me, to show the world that even if we may differ at times, we can and should be united in the effort to become better as people and a nation.”
Jaguars president Mark Lamping later apologized for how the team handled the anthem protest in October.
On Wednesday in Atlanta, the NFL owners voted unanimously for the new policy, which will aim to provide support for the players' interests while also respecting the communities surrounding the NFL.
"This season, all league and team personnel shall stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a league-issued statement. "Personnel who choose not to stand for the Anthem may stay in the locker room until after the Anthem has been performed."
The new policy statement is detailed as follows:
- All team and league personnel on the field shall stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.
- The Game Operations Manual will be revised to remove the requirement that all players be on the field for the Anthem.
- Personnel who choose not to stand for the Anthem may stay in the locker room or in a similar location off the field until after the Anthem has been performed.
- A club will be fined by the League if its personnel are on the field and do not stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.
- Each club may develop its own work rules, consistent with the above principles, regarding its personnel who do not stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.
- The Commissioner will impose appropriate discipline on league personnel who do not stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.
Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.