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Jets owner won't discourage players from kneeling

By The Sports Xchange
Jets owner won't discourage players from kneeling
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is booed as he takes the stage to announce the New York Jets' pick during the 2018 NFL Draft in April. Photo by Sergio Flores/UPI | License Photo

New York Jets owner Chris Johnson said Wednesday he will not discourage players from kneeling during the national anthem and is willing to pay any fines assessed by the NFL.

"As I have in the past, I will support our players wherever we land as a team," Johnson said in a statement released by the team. "Our focus is not on imposing any club rules, fines or restrictions."

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Johnson's comments were made after the owners unanimously agreed on a new national anthem policy at the owners' meetings in Atlanta.

The new policy requires any club personnel on the sideline to stand for the national anthem and gives the league the power to fine any team for not standing. Players also have the option to remain in the locker room during the national anthem.

"If the team gets fined, that's just something I'll have to bear," Johnson told Newsday at the owners' meetings while adding he doesn't like imposing any club-specific rules.

Johnson assumed control of the Jets last summer after owner and older brother Woody Johnson became President Trump's ambassador to the United Kingdom.

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Since being elevated to owner, Johnson has been vocal in supporting players.

During the owners' meetings at March, he told reporters that "trying to forcibly get the players to shut up is a fantastically bad idea."

Last season, the Jets did not have any players who knelt during the national anthem. Johnson joined his players and coaches on the sidelines during the anthem.

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