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John Mara waiting for NFL to agree with union on national anthem policy

The Giants owner wants to sit with veteran players to discuss the issue.

Giants president and CEO John Mara talks to

Giants president and CEO John Mara talks to the media during training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, NJ, on Thursday. Photo Credit: Brad Penner

John Mara said he’ll wait for the NFL to reach an agreement with the union on a policy regarding the national anthem before he institutes any rules for the Giants.

“There will be meetings fairly soon where we have discussions about the anthem policy,” Mara said on Thursday regarding negotiations between the league and the NFLPA. “Hopefully we will be able to come to some sort of resolution that everybody will be open to.”

That seems unlikely given the hot-button nature of the topic.

Mara, as one of the prominent owners in the league, will have a large voice in those negotiations. He was at the forefront of the adoption of a policy this summer which allowed for teams to discipline players who protest social injustice (or anything else) during the anthem but allowed players to remain in the locker room for the pregame ceremony.

As for his 1/32 direct domain of the league, he said: “My intention all along has to been to sit with our veteran players when they came back to training camp and discuss the issue. Now that the policy has been put on hold pending discussions with the NFLPA, we will let those play out before we talk about that.”

The Giants have two players who participated in the protests against social injustices last season by kneeling during the anthem: LB Olivier Vernon and S Michael Thomas (formerly of the Dolphins).

“I will let them handle it,” Vernon said of the negotiations by the union to alter the current policy. “That’s what they are supposed to do and we’ll take it from there.”

Barwin bashes old O-line

Connor Barwin may not be an Eagles player anymore, but he can still take a few jabs at the Giants’ offensive line. Or, at least, the former offensive line. Asked if he remembers butting heads with any of his new current teammates when he was a member of the NFC rival in Philly for four years, Barwin noted that most of the guys he played against are no longer with the Giants.

“Which,” Barwin said, “might be a good thing.”

Giant steps

DT Damon Harrison was on the sideline for Thursday’s opening practice wearing a visor and watching . . . CB Janoris Jenkins had a strong opening workout, breaking up several passes and intercepting one off Eli Manning . . . GM Dave Gettleman, who has told others that his lymphoma is in remission, addressed the team on Wednesday afternoon. “The players sort of left [in the spring] knowing that Dave was going through treatment,” Pat Shurmur said. “I thought it was important that he had a chance to visit with the team . . . I think they were glad to see him, excited to see that he’s working through the treatment. Things look good.”

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