The NFL owners have caved to right-wing political correctness:
Eight months after President Trump called the players “sons of bitches” for caring about silly things such as police brutality, the NFL revised its anthem policy Wednesday afternoon. Eight months after several owners locked arms with their players and denounced the president’s tactless verbal assault, the league coated the new guidelines in compromise — players and teams now can opt not to be on the field during the “Star-Spangled Banner” — but the policy also clarifies and strengthens punishment if members of a team choose to protest while on the field for the patriotic display.
Franchises can be fined an undisclosed amount for any demonstrations. Clubs have the right to develop their own rules, too. And Commissioner Roger Goodell now has the power to “impose appropriate discipline on league personnel who do not stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem.”
That’s Jerry Brewer writing in the Washington Post, but he pretty much speaks my mind: this gang of mostly old white men, who are more interested in counting their money than representing a sport that is already losing fans thanks to the literally skull-crushing traumas that are taking out their players before they turn 40, are showing their true patriotism by relegating free speech by a group of largely minority players to the locker room. Of course they have the right to protest — or show whatever sentiment is represented by kneeling — as long as no one else sees it.
The NFL owners are either afraid of Trump or they think like him; their only compromise position allows them to keep everything while looking — to them — as if they actually care when they really don’t. And what’s even more cynically ironic is that this controversy was created not by one quarterback taking a knee but by those who chose to interpret it to fit their own agenda.