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A group of Detroit civil rights activists is calling on the Lions to reject the NFL's new policy aimed at addressing the issue of national anthem protests.

The Rev. Charles Williams II, president of the Michigan chapter of the National Action Network, said Friday that if owner Martha Ford and the team adhere to the policy, "then they are doing nothing more than ... standing with racism."

The NFL announced Wednesday that players can stay in the locker room during "The Star-Spangled Banner" but must stand if they are on the field.

The Lions voted for the policy. Coach Matt Patricia would not offer his personal opinion when asked about it on Thursday and said he had not yet spoken about it with Ford or team president Rod Wood.

Copyright 2018 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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