Warriors' Steve Kerr slams NFL's new anthem policy: 'They're just playing to their fan base'

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr slammed the NFL's new national anthem policy on Thursday, saying the new rule in place to penalize teams whose players don't stand for the national anthem on the sideline was "typical of the NFL."

"They're just playing to their fan base," said Kerr, per the Mercury News. "Basically just trying to use the anthem as fake patriotism, nationalism, scaring people. It's idiotic. But that's how the NFL has conducted their business.

"I'm proud to be in a league that understands patriotism in America is about free speech and peacefully protesting. Our leadership in the NBA understands when the NFL players were kneeling, they were kneeling to protest police brutality, to protest racial inequality. They weren't disrespecting the flag or the military. But our president decided to make it about that and the NFL followed suit, pandered to their fan base, created this hysteria.

"It's kind of what's wrong with our country right now; people in high places are trying to divide us, divide loyalties, make this about the flag as if the flag is something other than what it really is -- which is a representation of what we're about, which is diversity, peaceful protests, right to free speech. It's ironic, actually."

NFL players who wish to not participate in the national anthem may now be allowed to remain in the locker room as a part of the league's new policy, but those on the sidelines will be required to stand. For those that refuse to follow the new rules, teams -- not players -- will be fined for actions deemed as disrespectful.

The NFL was lambasted by many in and around the league on Wednesday upon the passage of the new policies, as Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins expressed concern about the new policy among many others. But NFL commissioner Roger Goodell expressed optimism about the policy in an official statement, saying it was an example of the continuation of "collaboration with players to advance the goals of justice and fairness in all corners of our society."

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