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The NFL Players Association filed a grievance with the league on Tuesday challenging its national anthem policy.

The union says that the new policy Lamar Jackson Jersey , which the league imposed without consultation with the NFLPA, is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement and infringes on players’ rights. The filing met a statute of limitations deadline and will be heard by an independent arbitrator, an NFLPA spokesman said.

In May, the NFL approved its national anthem policy at its owners meetings in Atlanta. The policy 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 or the sidelines.

Teams will be subject to fines if players don’t comply and will have the option of punishing players.

When the league announced the policy, 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; some blamed the protests for such a drop. The union said at that time that it would file a grievance against any change in the collective bargaining agreement.

The union said Tuesday it has proposed having its executive committee talking to the NFL instead of proceeding with litigation. The union said the NFL has agreed to those discussions.

The NFL declined to comment about the union’s action.

In 2016, then-49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick began protesting police brutality and social injustice by kneeling during the national anthem Kerryon Johnson Lions Jersey , and the demonstration spread to other players and teams. It became one of the most controversial and sensitive issues in the NFL, with players saying their messages last year were being misconstrued, while others – including President Donald Trump – called them unpatriotic. Trump even said NFL owners should fire any player who refused to stand during the anthem.

Following those comments, more than 200 players protested during the anthem that weekend before the number of protesters dwindled as the season progressed.

”We’re here for a bigger platform,” Raiders tight end Jared Cook said during the spring. ”We’re not just athletes. We’re people that live this. It’s people in our neighborhood, it’s people that we grew up with, it’s people that we know who are actually living through these circumstances. So when we speak on it, it’s not like we’re just speaking out of the side of our neck. It’s things that actually touch home and things that we can actually relate to.

”All I have to say is Josh Allen Youth Jersey , I just think it’s sad that it’s veered from something that stood for good and the whole narrative has changed into something that’s negative when that was not what it was initially about in the first place.”

The NFL started requiring players to be on the field for the anthem in 2009 – the year it signed a marketing deal with the military.

”We want people to be respectful of the national anthem. We want people to stand,” Goodell said at the May meetings, when he dismissed concerns about the lack of union involvement by contending the league met with countless players over the past year.

”We’ve been very sensitive on making sure that we give players choices,” the commissioner added, ”but we do believe that moment is an important moment and one that we are going to focus on.”

The league and the Players Coalition have been working in tandem on efforts to support player initiatives in the community and for a variety of social issues. The NFL is committing $90 million over the next seven years to social justice causes in a three-segment plan that involves league players.

First, the Patriots tuned out a week full of off-field drama. Then, they silenced the Titans to earn yet another trip to the AFC championship game.

Tom Brady passed for three touchdowns and 337 yards, and New England cruised past Tennessee 35-14 on Saturday night to advance to their seventh consecutive conference title game.

New England (14-3) will host the winner of Sunday’s divisional matchup between Jacksonville and Pittsburgh.

It was Brady’s 10th career postseason game with at least three TD tosses Cheap Carlton Davis Jersey , moving him past Joe Montana for the most in NFL history. James White caught a touchdown pass and ran for another, and Danny Amendola had 11 catches for 112 yards.

New England’s victory came on the heels of a week filled with turmoil following reports of discord involving Brady, coach Bill Belichick and team owner Robert Kraft.

None of that showed on the field Saturday.

”I’ve been around long enough,” Brady said. ”So, 18 years, there’s so many nice things said about me. It just goes with the territory.”

The Titans (10-8) took an early 7-0 lead, but New England scored 35 straight points to take control.

Marcus Mariota completed 22 of 37 passes for 254 yards and two touchdowns, but was under duress for most of the second half. He was sacked eight times Will Hernandez Giants Jersey , a Patriots playoff record.

Coach Mike Mularkey said after the game his quarterback strained a quadriceps in the first quarter.

”It had an impact,” Mularkey said. ”We had to get out of some of our scheme with him.”

New England also held Derrick Henry to just 28 yards rushing on 12 carries.

The Titans came back from an 18-point deficit in the second half to beat the Chiefs 22-21 in the wild-card round last week – the largest comeback on the road in the Super Bowl era. But the Patriots didn’t give them a chance for an encore.

Leading 14-7, the Patriots stretched their lead to 14 just before halftime thanks to a trio of careless penalties on the Titans.

Tennessee initially forced a three-and-out, but gave up a first down via a fourth-and-5 neutral zone infraction on Brynden Trawick before New England’s punt attempt.

Armed with a new set of downs, Brady went to work moving the Patriots down the field with a steady diet of short passes. The Titans helped along the way with illegal contact and unnecessary roughness penalties. It eventually culminated in a 4-yard TD pass from Brady to Chris Hogan in the back of the end zone that made it 21-7.

Brady threw a short shovel pass to White, who ran it in from the 5-yard line to make it 7-7 early in the second quarter.

The Patriots appeared to have a touchdown three plays earlier, when Dion Lewis caught a pass from Brady and was tackled by Wesley Woodyard at the 19. Lewis landed on top of the defender, then got up and continued to the end zone.

The officials initially ruled that he had never been down and called it a touchdown. But replays showed Lewis’ butt hit the ground at the 19.

Corey Davis made a one-handed catch on a 15-yard pass from Mariota in the corner of the end zone to give the Titans a 7-0 lead. Mariota had a pair of 11-yard runs to help set up the score.

Davis added an 11-yard TD reception with 1:55 left in the game – and the Titans’ season.

INJURIES

Titans: Right tackle Jack Conklin walked off on his own power after injuring a knee in the first quarter. He did not return. … Tight end Jonnu Smith was carted off in the third quarter with a right leg injury.

Patriots: Right tackle LaAdrian Waddle left with a knee injury early in the third quarter. … Cornerback Jonathan Jones was helped off the field late in the fourth quarter.

UNFORCED ERRORS

The Titans had 85 penalties in the regular season – the second-fewest in the NFL.

They were flagged 10 times for 62 yards on Saturday Ronald Jones II Buccaneers Jersey , just the second time they had 10 or more this season.

MOVING ON UP

Gronkowski finished with six catches for 81 yards and touchdown. It was his 10th career postseason TD. He’s tied with five others for third all-time. But it’s the most for a tight end.

Gronk also moved into second all-time for a tight end with 835 postseason receiving yards. He passed Keith Jackson, and only Dallas Clark is ahead of him.

UP NEXT

The Patriots will play the winner of Sunday’s matchup between the Jaguars and Steelers in the AFC championship game.

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