Yesterday, the NFL announced that they are not going to tolerate kneeling for the national anthem. Moving forward, players and team personnel are expected to stand for the national anthem or stay in the locker room. If players kneel during the national anthem, their teams could be fined.
Here’s the official announcement.
ATLANTA — NFL owners have unanimously approved a new national anthem policy that requires players to stand if they are on the field during the performance but gives them the option to remain in the locker room if they prefer, it was announced Wednesday.
The policy subjects teams to a fine if a player or any other team personnel do not show respect for the anthem. That includes any attempt to sit or kneel, as dozens of players have done during the past two seasons to protest racial inequality and police brutality. Those teams also will have the option to fine any team personnel, including players, for the infraction.
Here’s what NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had to say on the matter.
“We want people to be respectful of the national anthem,” Goodell said. “We want people to stand — that’s all personnel — and make sure they treat this moment in a respectful fashion. That’s something we think we owe. [But] we were also very sensitive to give players choices.”
This morning on Fox and Friends, President Trump said this.
“I think that’s good,” Trump said. “I don’t think people should be staying in the locker rooms, but still I think it’s good. You have to stand proudly for the national anthem. Or you shouldn’t be playing, you shouldn’t be there. Maybe you shouldn’t be in the country.”
The NFL Players Association wasn’t amused with the NFL owner’s decision.
What’s driving this decision by the NFL? According to Mike Freeman of the Bleacher Report, the NFL is scared of President Trump. This is also about the bottom line.
“Our league,” one team official said, “is f–king terrified of Trump. We’re scared of him.”
Last fall during a political rally, Trump called out the NFL players for taking a knee during the national anthem.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, he’s fired,'” Trump said. “You know, some owner’s going to do that.”
It appears that the NFL is being proactive. According to ESPN, NFL television ratings fell 9.7 percent during the 2017 regular season, according to numbers registered by Nielsen.
This move by the NFL is an attempt to stop the bleeding. They don’t want to upset the fans. Like it or not, NFL fans want to watch football without the politics. Thoughts? Is this the right decision?