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'It's typical of the NFL. They're trying to use the anthem as fake patriotism nationalism, scaring people'

Golden Warriors coach Steve Kerr has branded the NFL’s new rules regarding conduct during the national anthem as ‘idiotic.’

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS coach coach Steve Kerr has branded the NFL’s new rules regarding conduct during the national anthem as ‘idiotic.’

NBA: Playoffs-Golden State Warriors at Houston Rockets Steve Kerr. Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

The NFL announced on Wednesday it will allow players to remain in the locker room while the anthem plays prior to games.

However, teams will be hit with fines if their players, or other personnel, on the field “do not stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem”, a change in procedure to prevent individuals opting to kneel.

Speaking at the Warriors practice ahead of game five of the Western Conference finals against the Houston Rockets, Kerr criticised the policy, believing the NFL are only “playing to their fanbase” with the changes.

“I think it’s just typical of the NFL,” he told the media. “They’re just playing to their fanbase.

Basically, they’re trying to use the anthem as fake patriotism, nationalism, scaring people. It’s idiotic, but that’s how the NFL has handled their business.

“I’m proud to be in a league that understands patriotism in the United States is about free speech, about peacefully protesting.

“I think our leaders in the NBA understand that when an NFL player is kneeling, they were kneeling to protest police brutality, to protest racial inequality.

“They weren’t disrespecting the flag or the military, but our president [Donald Trump] decided to make it about that and the NFL followed suit and pandered to their fan base by creating this hysteria.”

The NBA has a similar rule to the one just passed by the NFL, with their official rulebook including the line: “Players, coaches and trainers are to stand and line up in a dignified posture along the sidelines or on the foul line during the playing of the National Anthem.”

The league sent a memo to teams last year that said the league office “will determine how to deal with any possible instance in which a player, coach or trainer does not stand for the anthem.”

Days after that memo was sent, commissioner Adam Silver addressed the potential of players kneeling and said: “If that were to happen, we’ll deal with it when it happens.”

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