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NFL owners approve new anthem policy

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

ATLANTA (AP) Stand or stay out of sight.

Looking to quell a national debate that was sparked by Colin Kaepernick, stoked by President Trump and some say chipped away at the very popularity of America's game, NFL owners approved a new policy Wednesday that allows players to protest during the national anthem by staying in the locker room but forbids them from sitting or taking a knee if they're on the field.

Commissioner Roger Goodell called it a compromise aimed at putting the focus back on football after a tumultuous year in which television ratings dipped nearly 10 percent. He said it was unanimously approved by NFL owners, but that was immediately called into question when the head of the San Francisco 49ers - Kaepernick's former team, no less - said he abstained from the vote. The owner of the New York Jets also took a more conciliatory approach, promising not to punish any player who continues to protest against social injustice in full view of fans.

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