NFL owners adopt new policy to address anthem protests

NFL blowback

The damage is done. I’ll never go back to caring about the NFL.

From Yahoo: NFL owners approved a new policy Wednesday aimed at addressing the firestorm over national anthem protests sparked by Colin Kaepernick and polarized by President Trump, permitting players to stay in the locker room during the ”The Star-Spangled Banner” but requiring them to stand if they come to the field.

Commissioner Roger Goodell said the change was approved unanimously by the owners at their spring meeting in Atlanta, but even that was up for debate.

The head of the San Francisco 49ers – Kaepernick’s former team – said his franchise abstained from the vote. CEO Jed York said he wasn’t comfortable with a process that didn’t directly involve the players.

”I want to work with my team to make sure everything we do is about promoting the right types of social justice reform and getting to a better America,” York said.

The NFL Players Association said it wasn’t consulted about the new policy and would challenge any changes that violate the collective bargaining agreement.

Clearly, Goodell and most owners just want to put the issue behind them.

”We want people to be respectful of the national anthem. We want people to stand,” the commissioner said. ”That’s all personnel, and to make sure they treat this moment in a respectful fashion. That’s something that we think we owe. We’ve been very sensitive on making sure that we give players choices, but we do believe that moment is an important moment and one that we are going to focus on.”

In the surest sign that players were not part of the discussions, any violations of the policy would result in fines against the team – not the players. That could be a way to avoid legal challenges from the players’ union, since fines against a team would not be subject to collective bargaining.

The league did say teams could impose their own workplace rules for those who fail to show respect for the flag and anthem, but didn’t say what those policies might be. Because the new policy is a change in the terms and conditions of employment that was not collectively bargained, any attempts to fine individual players who continue to protest in public would surely be opposed by the union.

The owners spent several hours addressing the contentious issue – which made its way to the White House.

Kaepernick, the former 49ers quarterback, began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016, a quiet but powerful protest against police brutality and racial inequities in the justice system. Other players took up the cause, and the gesture carried on during the 2017 season even after Kaepernick left the 49ers and failed to land a job with another team.

Trump turned the debate into a campaign issue, saying the NFL should fire any player who takes a knee during ”The Star-Spangled Banner.” The NFL hasn’t gone that far, but Kaepernick has yet to land another job and one of his former teammates and fellow protesters, safety Eric Reid, is also out of work.

Both have filed collusion grievances against the NFL.

While the owners touted the change as a compromise that everyone should get behind, the union expressed immediate skepticism.

”The NFL chose to not consult the union in the development of this new ‘policy,”’ the NFLPA said in a statement. ”NFL players have shown their patriotism through their social activism, their community service, in support of our military and law enforcement and yes, through their protests to raise awareness about the issues they care about.”

The statement added, ”The vote by NFL club CEOs today contradicts the statements made to our player leadership by Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Chairman of the NFL’s Management Council John Mara (co-owner of the New York Giants) about the principles, values and patriotism of our League.”

York said he intended to meet with his players to discuss the change.

”They know I will stand up for them. I’ve stood up for them in past, I will stand up for them in the future,” York said. ”I hope we can have a good, respectful conversation: Is it the best policy for us to write a check to the league (for further on-field protests) or can we find a better way to use this money.”

The owners sent a bit of a convoluted message with the new policy – appeasing those who feel the national anthem must be treated with reverence, while allowing some sort of conduit for players to protest as long as they stay out of the public eye.

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31 responses to “NFL owners adopt new policy to address anthem protests

  1. If you’ve been boycotting the NFL games, will this bring you back?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Nope.

      Liked by 4 people

    • Isn’t it ridiculous that here we have two players who left their teams to search for a new home on their own . . . yet both remain “unemployed.” Now, they feel the necessity of taking their out of work situation to the courts. Why would any red blooded American stand behind those who choose to disrespect our flag, and our nation? I would love to have anyone who answers Dr Eoywn’s question in the affirmative to explain their reasons for returning to the NFL. Nothing has changed as far as their disrespectful attitude. Compare this to the player (sorry, I cannot recite his name) but after the latest shooting, not only did he make the offer to pay for funeral expenses, but he has taken his own time to visit the injured in the hospital. If you want to see what “good social action is” just take a look at his behavior. The comparison between the disrespectful black players, and this American hero, white player is astonishing in it comparison

      Liked by 4 people

    • Never to much blood on our flag for people who claim they are Americans to dis and keep on dissing it.

      Liked by 2 people

    • No. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. They are just doing it to please everybody, bring the sport back and get the money rolling, but……… is dead, get it, got it?

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Trump was right about this. They have a right to protest. They have an obligation to accept the consequences that go with it. If you wanted to see a play, and one of the actors decided he didn’t like Act II, Scene III, can he just decide to improvise? Would you be disappointed?

    These mutts are paid to fetch balls. People (for gawd only knows why), pay good money to watch this. They don’t pay their money to watch spoiled, pampered, overpaid airheads display their ignorance.

    They should fire anyone of them who does this. Many years ago the baseball players went on strike. Some of the teams simply hired replacements. The players weren’t as good but the replacements made up for it in willingness to work hard. The fans loved it. Sounds like a workable model to me.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. No. The NFL is not a concern to the 44 percent of people in this nation who are choosing between rent or food every month. Haven’t watched it in years, have no intention of watching it again. Bread and Circuses eventually became ineffective in Rome. See any similarities here in the USA?

    Liked by 4 people

  5. NO. Ken, wonder how long before Bread and Circuses will be ineffective here in America?

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I just read an article regarding Kapernick, and in this article it is alleged that one of the themes regarding the fact that this young man is not playing ball currently is due to “multigenerational discrimination.” When I read that I took it to mean “discrimination due to him being black.” These spoiled players just don’t get it . . . we don’t want to buy into their tantrums, we don’t want to pay monies into the various teams that they play for when they are up in the faces of the spectators–disrespecting the average American citizen.

    Again in this article it stated that he choose to be released from his team, and to become a free agent. Our choices, unfortunately lead to consequences . . . if you make a bad choice, then you must personally be responsible for the consequences of your bad choice. These are grown men, not pre-school kindergarten attendees.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Odd how Goodell saw some sort of light that changed his view… Maybe the loss of income? Papa Johns Pizza leaving the NFL?

    Let the kids stay in the locker room. Then deduct $25,000 per game from their salary in which they choose this inaction. Cost ’em a new car…

    Let them buy ad time during games WITH THEIR OWN MONEY, and within it, they can bitch & moan to their hearts’ desire about the social injustices white folk and the po-lice foist upon “them” in their daily, n’er-do-wrong lives.

    Then, as with every other ad break, I — and everyone else not interested — can just tune them out and hit the mute/moot button. Problem solved!

    “The NFL Players Association said it wasn’t consulted about the new policy and would challenge any changes that violate the collective bargaining agreement.”

    An analyst on TV said it, “…might result in increasing protests”.

    Whatever. I’m sure those boys can find good work outside of the league. Good luck finding anything that pays multiple $MILLIONS per season for playing a kid’s game… Maybe you can use your brute strength and size to re-build our nation’s failing infrastructure, or to fight the terrorists that daily try to take the freedoms our forefathers fought so hard to secure & protect…?

    Liked by 3 people

  8. USA they can love it or leave it no one is forcing them to stay. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. This will cause more protests by the players because they weren’t involved.

    Goodell is a moran. The league is a farce.

    Much better things to do on a Sunday.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Dennis Godaire

    It will be a long, long while before I attend another game. How did the players and owners forget who the customer is? Was everyone playing the political correctness game?

    In my humble opinion, every player who “took the knee” should be fired and banned “for life”. To include: “not being involved in any way, with any type of organized sport; within the United States”.

    In time, the teams will recover. And if they don’t … so be it. If the owners end up with a losing team, all they have to do is lower the price of admission to the stadium and the seats will fill.

    And, right now, might be a good time to lower the ticket prices. I’m not going to another game, until they do.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Finally the NFL has taken a position; the NFL players need to preserve their bread and butter. Now they can use their million dollar pay checks to organize and fund a movement lobby lawmakers and push for change of how Police should interact with the public. Their Union should start to become political active and carry out the intentions of the players. But on Sundays the only thing the players are expected to do is score that touchdown

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Too little too late. this could have been stopped the very first week, but instead was allowed to fester and divide. This is only being done because of the draining of the money coffers. To disrespect the flag of the country that gave you the rights to protest, why would you want to?
    Gooddell didn’t have the guts to do the right thing resulting in permanent damage to the NFL, another case where I have no empathy.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. All I can say is GO DAWGS and ROLL TIDE!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Sorry,team owners-that ship sailed a minute ago…..

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Since when has football been about social justice reform? Its a spectator sport! Key word: sport. About as vital as a velvet toilet seat.

    Liked by 4 people

  16. The most stunning moment for any national anthem, any place, is in the movie Casablanca. I thought of that scene when I read about the NFL’s new policy. Even 75 years later it is still the most stunning scene in movie history. I am 86 years old and a fan of old movies. If you had a father like mine in the army during World War II, who was at Omaha Beach on D Day and a brother who is still MIA in the North Atlantic from fighting in the US Naval Armed Guard protecting our merchant ships, you can understand the moment. The movie was filmed in 1941 at the time of the Nazi occupation of France. Nobody knew which way the war was going to go. It was released in 1943 when the allies were getting hammered and losing badly, Many of the actors in the film were refugees from Nazi Germany. Their tears were real. They were not acting, No rule can dictate patriotism like that. Our own national anthem is also very moving. It was composed at a critical time in our history. The author ,with other Americans, held prisoner in a ship off the coast of Fort McHenry, were eagerly awaiting the outcome of a crucial battle. The only way they could tell if we still had our independence was to see the flag in a flash of light when a bomb exploded in the air. Can you imagine the tears in their eyes when they saw that the flag was still there? It must have been a scene comparable to the scene in Casablanca. Times have changed since those years. We are at a different point in history. Today ordinary citizens no longer have to put their lives on the line for their country. They take too much for granted. Certainly, police brutality and racial inequality are problems to be dealt with but too many people have forgotten that freedom is not an inanimate object passed down from one generation to the next. It has to be fought for and each generation is called upon to defend it in a special way. It is my prayer that the current generation will be up to the task.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Target. J. C. Penney. Sonic. NFL.
    I don’t have any use for any of them or their ilk.
    They all made poor if not disastrous business decisions.
    Their leadership’s base beliefs are not likely to change. They’ll do like the liberals. They attempt to reshape their message to make it more appealing or less repulsive. Their mission hasn’t changed.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. I despise the NFL/AFL and always have, but my husband loves it.
    He took a knee on last year’s season and I hope he continues to do so. He gets laughed at by co-workers but he held fast and even skipped the stupid bowl! I hope the country is NOT fooled by this empty gesture.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Good for hubby. The owners are not trying to do the right thing. They’re trying to do the money thing.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. I truly believe in the right of any American to protest peacefully against any thing that they feel is wrong. To expect to be able to do so in their workplace, while on the time clock, embarrassing their employer, is not a part of the protections given in our constitution.
    I have friends and relatives who fought and died for the American flag, which is simply a piece of cloth. It represents this nation, which was formed from many divergent peoples and backgrounds, all meeting together with one common goal, to form one nation, based upon the fact that God made mankind free and with certain unalienable rights, some of them being the right to seek life, liberty and happiness. Those who fought and died were doing so to protect the ability of the rest of us to seek those rights, and even though it pains me to no end, I feel like I would dishonor my ancestors if I didn’t give the respect to those with whom I disagree to take advantage of the rights provided by those who fought and died. Even if it means that I see pictures on the television of flags being burned and stepped on or spit on.
    Or when I see prima donna athletes kneeling during the national anthem, I understand why they are doing so, and while I disagree with them 100%, I still understand why they do so and support their right to protest. I disagree with the venue, and support the NFL decision to stop this now, and think they were a lot late, but better late than never.
    However, I could sit down with any one of the players who protest and have a calm and rational discussion about the reasons for their protest, and could give my feelings to them, and not get angry about things, as I am a calm and generally mild mannered person. I could not, however, be in the presence of those who were desecrating the flag of this the greatest nation in the world. Even though I say that I understand it, and can agree with why they would do so, I have friends and relatives who shed their blood for the nation that the flag represents, and so, while I truly support their right to protest the flag, I am not capable within my own self to hold back my baser instinct to do what is necessary to stop it from happening, even though I would expect to be punished, and am willing to accept that. I have spoken on the internet about this before, and gotten a lot of arguements from the left, that I am lying,and that I can’t mean one or the other. But I mean both things. I support the right to protest, but I can’t promise that I won’t stop them from harming my countries flag. That is simply the way it is. Sorry, I know I am an enigma, when it comes to this. So be it.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Here is the latest in police “brutality”:

    Liked by 2 people

  22. NFL owners reportedly didn’t vote on the league’s new national anthem policy
    According to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, the league’s new policy mandating that all players and team and league personnel who are on the field for the singing of the national anthem must stand during the anthem or else be subject to penalties was approved by a unanimous vote of NFL owners.
    On Wednesday, however, 49ers owner Jed York announced that he had abstained from voting. On Thursday afternoon ESPN’s Outside the Lines reported something that, if true, shows Goodell’s claim to be even less accurate.
    According to Seth Wickersham, the owners did not hold a formal vote on the new policy. Instead, league executives just polled owners and then “knew how they would vote.”

    “Now You Know The Rest Of The Story.” … Paul Harvey

    Liked by 2 people

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