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Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) and outside linebacker Eli Harold (58) kneel during the playing of the national anthem before a game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta on Dec. 18, 2016. The blackballed quarterback was honored as Week 1 Community MVP by the NFL players’ union for his latest $100,000 donation and a back-to-school giveaway in New York City.

A new national anthem policy unveiled last week by the National Football League threatening fines against teams that have players kneeling as a sign of protest appears to have reignited long-simmering tensions between management and labor in the nation’s most profitable professional sports league.

The National Football League Players Association, a labor union representing the interests of the league’s current and former players, promptly issued a statement condemning the league’s decision not to consult with the NFLPA in adopting a new national anthem policy and warning of a potential challenge to any provisions that do not comport with the collective bargaining agreement between owners and players reached in 2011.

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