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NFL Owners Are Still Divided On Player Protests

The 2017 NFL season was historic, tumultuous, empowering to players, a rebirth of celebrity athletes of color using their platform to fight oppression, but financially detrimental to NFL owners. This weekends annual NFL owners meetings in Orlando from March 25-28 will cover some major rules changes and the future of the league. 

SB Nation NFL on Twitter

Here’s what the owners will vote on, or at least discuss, at their annual meeting. https://t.co/wgYzVqJPcP

According to ESPN, NFL owners are still reportedly  completely divided on how to address the issues of protests during the national anthem.

New school ownership respects the players rights to protest a bit more than the old school owners. Jets CEO Christopher Johnson said that trying to get trying to forcibly get the players to shut up is a fantastically bad idea.

I have immense respect for the players and their efforts, Christopher Johnson said. I think if other teams approached it like that, it would not be such a problem in the NFL.

I cant speak to how other people run their teams, but I just think that trying to forcibly get the players to shut up is a fantastically bad idea.

New York Jets View on Twitter

Take a Knee: New York Jets CEO Backs NFL Players’ Rights to Protest – Newsweek https://t.co/v99MuJ2heC

However, the old guard such as Texas owner Bob McNair,  a staunch defender of the NFLs racist and oppressive practices of the past said on Sunday,  Our playing field is not the place for political statements, not the place for religious statements. Its the place for football.

Apparently it’s not the place to take troubling allegations against an NFL owner seriously either. 

Charlotte Observer on Twitter

Texans owner Bob McNair: #Panthers Jerry Richardson could have been joking with sexual, racial comments. … From @josephperson at #NFL annual meetings in Orlando. https://t.co/NmsqhE4wgR #NFL #KeepPounding #ICYMI

Last year McNair made an analogy of inmates running the prison about players demonstrations during the anthem and remains adamant that everyone should stand for the The Star-Spangled Banner.

McNair and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones are at the forefront of owners attempting to ban players from kneeling for the anthem by implementing a uniform and agreed upon policy. 

Jarrett Bell on Twitter

Not the best, socially-progressive look today from Bob McNair. My column… https://t.co/3OvR4SglZL via @USATODAY

A huge divide in strategy still remains and fluctuates daily, which means that entering the 2018-19 football season, nothing has really been resolved as far as protesting the anthem is concerned. 

Reaching an agreement on language on the leagues policy regarding behavior during the anthem is highly unlikely. Owners will meet again in May in Atlanta, and the anthem issue figures to extend until then.

In the meantime, there seems to be a gentlemen’s agreement of sorts concerning player protesting in light of the $90 million deal that the NFL struck with thePlayers Coalition that allowed the playoffs to go on off without so much of a fist raised, but their are players who have left the coalition and the probability that a player could decided to protest is real and still exists, especially within those organizations that are more lenient in their tolerance of that form of social expression. 

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