After the announcement of the new rule, Johnson said in a statement that the team "will continue to work closely with our players to constructively advance social justice issues that are important to us". Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins was one of several players to slam the new policy, saying, "Everyone loses when voices get stifled".
In response, New York Jets Chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson announced the team will pay any fines and will not penalize players if they violate the new rules. "Protests are not supposed to make you feel comfortable", he continued.
"But now we've got a situation, quite frankly, that I think is a genie they can't put back in the bottle".
In a morning tweet, the Seaford Republican said Johnson's stance was "encouraging a movement premised on lies vs. police". There will be no club fines or suspensions or any sort of repercussions.
"If somebody [on the Jets] takes a knee, that fine will be borne by the organization, by me, not the players", he said, per Bob Glauber of Newsday.
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Host Neil Cavuto noted that the new National Football League policy has a lot of "wiggle room", as it appears players could protest in ways other than kneeling.
United States Congressman Peter King, who represents part of Long Island, was not happy with Johnson's remarks.
Brown has not kneeled during the national anthem to this point but reportedly wanted to early last season, per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. And while First Amendment rights pertain to the government and not private business, Kelly notes that numerous NFL's stadiums are publicly financed.
Pittsburgh Steelers all-pro wide receiver Antonio Brown on Saturday night appeared to offer his support for the movement of protests during national anthem when he posted on Instagram a photo of himself kneeling.