Giants co-owner John Mara wanted to find the middle ground in the NFL's national anthem policy.
Well, that doesn't appear to be the case after the new policy was released by the NFL on Wednesday that requires all team and league personnel on the field "to stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem." If players wish to continue protesting, they must do so off the field by not being present on the sideline for the anthem.
The NFLPA immediately challenged the new policy, saying it would "review the new 'policy' and challenge any aspect of it that is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement."
Mara, who is the chairman of the NFL Management Council Executive Committee, had a large say in the new policy. And he believes it is something that the protests have become too "divisive" for there not to be a policy in place.
"We've been supportive of those in the past who have decided to protest," Mara told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Thursday, "but I think we've gotten to a point now where it's become such a divisive issue that I think it's important that we come out of here with a policy that everybody can respect and adhere to."
For the Giants, Olivier Vernon was the main player that decided to kneel for the final 14 games of the season last year, as teammates stood next to him in support. Also, newly acquired S Michael Thomas knelt with the Dolphins last season as well.
Also, players like Damon "Snacks" Harrison have already spoken out about the new policy. But Mara says having the player's views in mind is what he has preached when creating this policy.
"It's an issue that is very divisive, (for) people on both sides of it," Mara said. "And you have to take the players' feelings and views into account, as well. So we're hopeful of coming out of this with some sort of policy that works."
The other owner at MetLife Stadium -- Jets co-owner Christopher Johnson -- said he would pay any fines the team gets for players protesting, and with NFL clubs having the power to dish out their own fines as well, he said that would never happen.
In the end, Mara is hoping that his players stand for the anthem this year.
"I think certainly we all hope that our players stand for the anthem this year," Mara said. "I think it's the right thing to do."