Standing for the national anthem has been a point of contention for the past two seasons since former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started a movement in 2016. Owners have largely been against the social statement, claiming that it hurts business and places politics in a space that is reserved for entertainment and making money.
The players feel that they have a right to be heard and use their platform to give a voice to the disenfranchised in this country who are suffering under the current establishment. The owners and players have met numerous times over the past year to figure out how to deal with the threat of player protests. Outside of the $90 million the NFL gave the Player’s Coalition so the playoffs would go off without a political hitch, nothing has really been resolved. And Colin Kaepernick is still unemployed.
Adam Schefter on Twitter
After arranging for Colin Kaepernick to work out for the Seahawks this week, Seattle postponed the trip when the quarterback declined to stop kneeling during the national anthem next season, league sources tell ESPN. More ahead on NFL Live now.
And black men are still getting shot at an alarming rate by law enforcement.
According to Bleacher Report, The owners held a meeting about possible fixes to the situation in October, with owners like Jerry Jones of the Cowboys and Bob McNair of the Texans openly against players protesting during the national anthem. On the other hand, owners like the Eagles’ Jeffrey Lurie have specifically separated themselves from Trump’s divisive attacks on players who kneel.
It just seems as if Roger Goodell doesnt want the pressure of making any more decisions about protests and doesnt want to be in the middle as a mediator between the players and the owners.
Bleacher Report on Twitter
NFL may make standing for anthem a team-by-team choice, per @MarkMaske https://t.co/08gtVqC7PK
This is the perfect way for the league to separate itself from the touchy situation and place the responsibility on the owners of the teams. I would assume the league’s long-term play is by giving each team a personal choice of whether to stand or not, it diffuses the impact and effectiveness of that particular protest which was originally designed to upset the apple cart, go against the traditions of the establishment and bring attention to police brutality, social injustice and inequality.
Nothing would really be resolved by doing this. Its basically the equivalent of the federal government returning control of a certain issue or law to the state. Some owners will undoubtedly try to mandate that players must stand for the anthem and others will allow it. The fact that the league is still trying to legislate anthem protests at all shows that Colin Kaepernick’s message is still being lost in communication.
It’s so obvious that the only thing most owners and the league is concerned about is how much profit they might lose behind more protests, but thinking that a player wont protests because it’s against team rules is backwards thinking to begin with as protests are meant to be uncomfortable for the oppressor.
The wildcard question mark is how fans in each city will react to the decisions the owners make. The perceived disrespect for the flag that kneeling has led to is absurd but still a very real narrative to a large contingency of folks.
Ainsley Earhardt on Twitter
RPT: @NFL could make national anthem policy a team choice. @dbongino weighs in on @foxandfriends. What do you think? https://t.co/KYmcwUhMgY
The issue of anthem protests will continue to influence the coverage and headlines leading up to and during this NFL season, especially as more players who are affiliated with Kaepernick or supported his protest are blackballed from the league and file collusion cases against the NFL.