As the national anthem controversy around the NFL continues, the 49ers and Levi’s Stadium are taking an extra step to make sure the flag is honored prior to kickoff.
The 49ers announced plans before San Francisco’s first preseason game Thursday against the Cowboys to halt all movement in the stadium, including the selling of food and drinks, purchases at the team store and fans entering the stadium during the anthem.
“What we’re looking for is an organic movement to kind of get back to where we were at one time,” said one 49ers executive who asked to remain anonymous, according to venuesnow.com. “We’re asking you to take a moment to be respectful and honor America.”
To make fans aware of the change, the menu boards at concession stands will display the message, “Please pardon the interruption of service while we honor America.”
Once the anthem is completed, the stadium will resume normal operation.
The change at Levi’s Stadium comes after the NFL announced a new policy during the offseason stating players have the option to stay in the locker room during the anthem. The rule also says if players decide to go on the field for the anthem, they must stand or they could be fined. The NFL and NFLPA, however, are still discussing this rule and are trying to reach an agreement.
The NFL and the NFLPA released a joint statement last month saying, “No new rules relating to the anthem will be issued or enforced for the next several weeks while these confidential discussions are ongoing” after both sides were unable to reach a resolution over the anthem policy.
In another statement released after the two sides met again, the NFL and NFLPA said, “We are encouraged by the discussions and plan to continue our conversations.”