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Doug Baldwin claims at least one owner has ordered players to stand for anthem

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 02:  Christine Michael #32 of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates his fourth quarter touchdown with teammate Doug Baldwin #89 against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on October 2, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) Getty Images

The NFL has no choice but to allow players to not stand for the national anthem, because no rule or labor agreement permits the NFL to compel it. But the 32 teams are individually owned, by folks who have a lot of money and power and like to spend (and make) the former and wield (and amass) the latter.

It’s no surprise, then, that Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin claims that one or more owners have ordered players to stand for the anthem. Appearing on HBO’s Any Given Wednesday, Baldwin said that “some owners” have “taken a stand and told players to do certain things” regarding the anthem issue.

Pressed for specifics, Baldwin said, “[R]egarding the National Anthem and the protests, the one quote that I was informed of was, ‘You’re going to stand on the line with your hand on your heart and you’re going to sing the National Anthem because this is my stage.’”

Baldwin then clarified that it’s his understanding an owner said that. Baldwin didn’t specify the owner, but many will suspect that it was Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who to date has been the only owner to express disappointment regarding anthem protests.

Whoever it was, someone needs to go public with the name and the specific quote, so that the owner can confirm or deny the contention. And so that the other 31 owners who didn’t say it won’t be inaccurately blamed for saying it.

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52 Responses to “Doug Baldwin claims at least one owner has ordered players to stand for anthem”
  1. charger383 says: Oct 6, 2016 12:05 AM

    he just became my favorite owner

  2. stoolerz says: Oct 6, 2016 12:06 AM

    Blamed for? More like getting credit

  3. 585crownedking says: Oct 6, 2016 12:18 AM

    The reaction has been crazy. During the national anthem people are paying more attention to players than they are to the flag they are supposed to be saluting. I’m pretty sure to those uneasy with the “lack of patriotism” when your at home and the National anthem is played you don’t stand with your hands over your heart. While your at church and when you pray you don’t watch to see how others are praying. To push for change or want rights on part with others is the epitome of “America”. The world needs less Jerry Joneses and more Chris Longs.

  4. gorilla2nine says: Oct 6, 2016 12:28 AM

    “won’t be inaccurately blamed for saying it”
    You mean applauded?

  5. mikeyhigs says: Oct 6, 2016 12:40 AM

    If the owner wants their players to present a certain image while they are working for the owner, that’s the owner’s right. Plenty of employees have to follow certain procedures at work. Some have to put on shoe booties before entering a customers home. Some have to hide their tattoos with long sleeves and/ or turtle necks. Some have to answer the phone using a scripted response. That’s work. Those things are all about company image. Your workplace should not be a vehicle for your personal agendas. Especially if it can affect the image that your employer is trying to create.

  6. bleedingfacemask says: Oct 6, 2016 12:51 AM

    “Baldwin didn’t specify the owner, but many will suspect that it was Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.”

    Many? That’s a conservative estimate.

  7. pyleketerson says: Oct 6, 2016 1:02 AM

    So done with this.

  8. Ivan Pavlov says: Oct 6, 2016 1:09 AM

    The idea that we’re all supposed to make a choice between supporting the police or civilians is ridiculous. It’s a false choice. Also, if you think it’s wrong to protest police shooting unarmed people then you must think it’s a-ok for police to shoot unarmed people.

  9. gotcaughtcheating says: Oct 6, 2016 2:38 AM

    If true I’ll become a Cowboy fan

  10. knew8411 says: Oct 6, 2016 3:24 AM

    I really dont understand….when you choose to disrespect our country, by sitting, or kneeling during the National Anthem. The only thing you are doing is upsetting hoards of citizens, who take pride in our nation, and our flag. What you are doing, is not going to change the way things are done outside that stadium. If you want to use your voice, and your notoriety, as a professional athlete then go and visit with law enforcement personnel. Start a dialog between law enforcement and those who feel the need to be heard. Discourse is not going to do anything but upset many people. Professional athletes could be very instrumental, in beginning the process of improving race relations. Secondly, I would ask that these “protesters” do some investigation into the statistics….look at black on black crime numbers, look at officer involved shootings, and if possible, know the circumstances that lead up to the actual shooting. Instead of assuming that the officer was at fault.

  11. gbsparks says: Oct 6, 2016 3:59 AM

    Here’s what I don’t understand about this whole national anthem brouhaha: Except for the Green Bay Packers, all of the major sports teams are owned and operated by oligarchs, their progeny, or corporate elites, who have virtually zero chance of ever having to defend the country or its values against a foreign enemy.

    Hell, if they could, half of them would move their headquarters to Ireland or Dubai to avoid corporate taxes.

    Regardless, they wrap their sports in American flags to wring out more revenue for their product.

    If the sports leagues, and their fans, actually possessed a deep-seated patriotism and loyalty to the Constitution for more than the time it takes to roll out an enormous flag now and then, and find someone with the vocal chops to sing a very difficult national anthem, they would understand that the players who have refused to sing along are exercising their right of free expression as guaranteed by the aforementioned document, and doing it bravely.

    It’s clear to me that a lot of beer-infused sports fans are political dimwits, but most probably aren’t, at least not once they sober up.

    And to those people I would suggest that they examine this issue by deciding which is more important: the symbol toward which the protest is directed or the substantive concept that makes it not only possible, but enhances it with a kind of bravery that most of the condemnatory shills don’t possess.

    Believe it or not, it takes a lot of courage and inner strength to stand up for one’s beliefs against the roar of the crowd.

    In a very real sense, these players are behaving more as true patriots than the flag wavers condemning them, regardless of what they or I may think of him as players.

    Which is why, if the sports leagues find it in their business interest to continue wrapping their products in patriotism, no one should be surprised when someone actually calls their bluff.

  12. seahawkz4life says: Oct 6, 2016 4:25 AM

    Doug, please stay out of this. This is America, Kaep should go a different route with events? ride-alongs? Don’t disrespect the effort others have given up a lot for, aka freedom. Sincerely-Seahawks fan

  13. jimnaizeeum says: Oct 6, 2016 5:27 AM

    I don’t believe him, if this was true why not name the owner?

  14. The Truth says: Oct 6, 2016 5:30 AM

    Atta boy Jerry Jones, if it is you a shout out to having the stones to do it.

  15. ipdaily69 says: Oct 6, 2016 5:31 AM

    I’ll buy the jersey of any team that is required to respect their country.
    And if these fools feel the need to shorten their careers and move on to community organizing, here’s the door…enjoy the reduced pay check.

  16. 26predator says: Oct 6, 2016 5:34 AM

    You don’t have to put your hand over your heart for the national anthem! That is for the pledge of allegiance.

  17. phoogaboom says: Oct 6, 2016 5:46 AM

    That owner is absolutely right. It’s his stage. I wish more owners would put whiny players in their places way more often. Listen up, players–you’re the animals at the circus. NOT the the ringleader, and sure as heck not the owner. Learn your place. Any intelligent person compares the amount of police brutality over the course of a year, to the millions, if not billions of confrontational situations police offers enter into each year, and finds said amount of brutality completely ACCEPTABLE. Perfection, in any profession, is quite simply, unobtainable. Doctors and lawyers engage in malpractice. It happens. A MINUSCULE amount of cops do, too. Considering the life-and-death nature of their work, no one should be surprised that mistakes happen. And, that’s not even to mention the fact that in EVERY SINGLE police shooting I’ve reviewed, since this travesty of a movement started, has been justified. EVERY LAST ONE. The “Black Lives Matter” movement is one of the most racist, anti-white absurdities I’ve ever witnessed. The players who sit for the anthem because of this should be ashamed of their ignorance, and exiled from the NFL for life. “Peaceful protest? Go right ahead. But, not on my dime,” is what every owner should be saying. Or, even simpler, “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. There’s ALWAYS a next man up.”

  18. cpozsgai says: Oct 6, 2016 5:58 AM

    Finally at least one owner brave enough to battle the PC cabal. This is way out of hand already. The playing of national anthems has always been a part of sports, and not just in this country.

    Unfortunately for players at Kapernick’s skill level, all they have left is to find that 15 minutes of fame or notoriety. I would venture to say that he is getting more of the latter.

    Your country is above football and your inflated salary. You have abandoned your country so maybe you should just leave and play some Canadian football, if they will have you.

  19. PhD says: Oct 6, 2016 6:01 AM

    I thought this was common knowledge, of course it Jerrah. He’s in Texas for god’s sake. Would you expect anything different?

  20. donny05 says: Oct 6, 2016 6:08 AM

    Lifelong Eagles fan here, I was born with a dislike for the cowboys. I give Jerry props for having the sack to say something, if it actually was him.

  21. dirtdawg54 says: Oct 6, 2016 6:09 AM

    Let me get this straight. A lot of people applauding this are the same ones who’d claim a primary reason for supporting the second amendment is to ensure citizens can take up arms against a totalitarian state. Right? And what’s a sign of a totalitarian state? Having your freedom taken away and being forced to do things a certain way.

    You cannot have it both ways folks. You either live in the freest country in the world. Or you don’t. If you want to shout these men down, tell them to leave, force them to stand you can’t then boast of your nation’s “freedom” because you just proved you aren’t willing to provide it except under certain defined circumstances. As in “when the white men say it’s okay, it’s okay”.

  22. ramfanmatt says: Oct 6, 2016 6:12 AM

    It’s the owner’s right to do so. I’m sure more than one owner has this policy. It’s bad for business to have people sit on the anthem.

  23. switchwitch59 says: Oct 6, 2016 6:26 AM

    Personally, I find it disrespectful to the national anthem to have pop singers come in and treat it like the cover for their next hit single. When I hear the anthem being sung on TV I grab the remote and hold my finger over the mute button and when I hear the first note that doesn’t belong in it I hit the button until they’re done.

  24. olefballcoach says: Oct 6, 2016 6:33 AM

    As every owner should

  25. vavikingfan says: Oct 6, 2016 6:38 AM

    Where I live people fly the Confederate flag but are the first to complain about people not standing for the anthem.

  26. edon8334 says: Oct 6, 2016 6:44 AM

    Paid Patriotism..just keep drinking the coolaid

  27. bospat says: Oct 6, 2016 7:04 AM

    I say make them stay in locker room by themselves..when it’s over they can come out and join their team..

  28. redsea1111 says: Oct 6, 2016 7:09 AM

    It’s impossible for me to pay attention to a player’s thoughts about the national anthem when said player uses a football as a toilet prop in front of millions of viewers worldwide (including untold amounts of kids) during a Super Bowl. We’re supposed to take him seriously on human rights issues?

  29. crewchief15 says: Oct 6, 2016 7:12 AM

    26predator says:
    Oct 6, 2016 5:34 AM

    You don’t have to put your hand over your heart for the national anthem! That is for the pledge of allegiance.
    Proper conduct during a rendition of the National Anthem, when the US flag is displayed:
    •Everyone present, except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the American flag with the right hand placed over the heart.

  30. mikea311 says: Oct 6, 2016 7:36 AM

    they been cutting to commercial during the anthem for years, no one seems to take offense to that disrespect.

  31. qb1342 says: Oct 6, 2016 8:08 AM

    Maybe the owner also helped them with some very basic logic… that flag is what gives you a right to protest. So by protesting it, you’re protesting your right to protest. Logic, folks!

  32. saint9904 says: Oct 6, 2016 8:17 AM

    So let me get this right…..a group alpha males (and loud mouth divas) are told basically to stand up and shut up and we are only hearing about it from Baldwin, who doesn’t even play for the person that supposedly said it???

    Yea I am not buying it!!

  33. kane337 says: Oct 6, 2016 8:56 AM

    More owners should do the same. The players are at their workplace working for the owners. Protest in your own time. If I protest at my place of work what do you think is going to happen? Yep, I’m FIRED!

  34. ufourya says: Oct 6, 2016 8:59 AM

    Google FBI table 43

  35. patsfan17 says: Oct 6, 2016 9:05 AM

    26predator says:
    Oct 6, 2016 5:34 AM
    You don’t have to put your hand over your heart for the national anthem! That is for the pledge of allegiance.


    36 U.S. Code § 301:

    “Conduct During Playing.—During a rendition of the national anthem—

    all other persons present should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart, and men not in uniform, if applicable, should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart.”

    So yes, you do have to put your hand over your heart during the playing of the National Anthem.

  36. mysterytonite says: Oct 6, 2016 9:06 AM

    Yep then do to get angry when fans start protesting your mediocre play resulting in less revenue, which will lead to less money in tv contracts and then lower salaries and then Possibly being phased out of football due to teams going with younger cheaper options.

    Maybe then these man-children will soon feel what it’s like to be a real American to have to struggle to earn a living. Taking a stand for something you’re passionate about is one thing but this self-righteous against the man stance for just a moment of superficial attention is pond scum low. Most Americans see through it and quite frankly, are tired of hearing about it. Do something about it Doug instead of disrespecting your country like some punk who celebrated a td in the Super Bowl by using a football as a bowel movement.

  37. factschecker says: Oct 6, 2016 9:09 AM

    The comments from some of my fellow countrymen over this topic make my heart ache on so many levels.

    extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration, as characterizing a personality type.

    It’s scary what we have become.

  38. rex2020 says: Oct 6, 2016 9:26 AM

    So done with this too. So courageous and thought provocking not standing for the anthem.
    Yesterdays news it’s 15 minutes is up

    What are you going to do Ensteins? Next step?
    While blacks are killing each other at record numbers here in chicago. Protests…outrage…
    nope. That would mean accepting some responsiblity and being accountable as a race.

    Lets focus on the small problem that we can blame someone else for. Yes there is a problem
    but there are way bigger ones.

    Maybe these black millionaires who want to help should start building businesses in the black neighborhoods so they can get the jobs they need.
    Ok….back to kneeling

  39. phacepalm says: Oct 6, 2016 9:29 AM

    These are the teams I will NOT be watching this week, because they have members of the Krapernick Klan.


    The Colts are off the list for now, because they cut that baby making fool earlier this week.

  40. ufourya says: Oct 6, 2016 9:33 AM

    “You don’t have to put your hand over your heart for the national anthem! That is for the pledge of allegiance.”

    You don’e HAVE to do anything, bur if you love your country there are certain ways to behave.

    google flag code and you will find that your statement is incorrect.

  41. saintsnutcase says: Oct 6, 2016 9:50 AM

    Standing for the national anthem is to show respect to those who have served to protect the country and the freedom to all. ALL RACES fought and died to give these idiots the freedom to protest and speak their mind.

  42. kenbinc says: Oct 6, 2016 9:57 AM

    I’m fairly certain that employers do not have the right to compel their employees to partake in any form of political speech or expression (which is what standing or not standing is).

    It is your stage, sir, but this is our country – and our Constitution gives me the right to stand or not stand. Period. This ain’t rocket science, folks.

  43. factschecker says: Oct 6, 2016 9:59 AM

    I really dont understand….
    And neither do most of the other commentators.

  44. abninf says: Oct 6, 2016 10:09 AM

    many will suspect that it was Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who to date has been the only owner to express disappointment regarding anthem protests.

    In addition to being the only team to wear stickers supporting the police. Imagine the jokes about America’s Team if a player disrespected the American flag. Of course it was Jerry.

  45. blurocpurp says: Oct 6, 2016 10:19 AM

    u guys do understand that players used to stay in the locker room during the anthem until about 2008 or 2009. the whole entire players stand for the national anthem thing came about when the national guard made a deal with the nfl to have the players on the field during the anthem and to televise it to show support for the military in an attempt to increase recruiting numbers. with that being said, shouldn’t people be more outraged that the nfl is only doing this for profit? if those checks stop coming please believe me the fake act of patriotism would stop immediately! why are people such puppets? do you get off the couch and stand for the anthem at home? no you don’t. so why does it piss you off that some silly player wants to sit for attention. He is not even changing anything going on in the world, he is literally just sitting there. its stupid! id think more people would laugh at him than be angry. man people are such sheep.

  46. blurocpurp says: Oct 6, 2016 10:21 AM

    I want everyone who is so offended and blabbing about this love for your country crap to log off and go enlist in the military since your so damn patriotic smh

  47. rcali says: Oct 6, 2016 10:52 AM

    Way to have some stones Jerrah!

  48. saintsnutcase says: Oct 6, 2016 12:24 PM

    @blurocpurp, I did- 21 yrs in US Army Medical Corp. I’m also an immigrant! Did you serve blurocpurp or just mouthing off like all of those idiots who have no love for this country. Go some where else and live and see if you have the same rights. Geez, let’s see if they will kill you or just let you stand up and protest. My bet is that they will imprison, torture, kill, and then feed you to the dogs!

  49. skawh says: Oct 6, 2016 12:32 PM

    I’m a vet, and I’m not patriotic! Only foolish easily lead uninformed sheep by into the patriotic crap! How many unjust wars have been begun by the gov’t JUST since the 1960 alone? You don’t have enough fingers to count them. And that’s a fact. So the NFL is being paid by the gov’t to promote all of the military crap during NFL games…and you tools are standing at attention like a bunch of newbies in boot camp…what the heck are you standing for?

  50. keywestjim says: Oct 6, 2016 2:03 PM

    A company (NFL) can legally make rules that usurp your 1st amendment rights to protect its brand. If the NFL players want to protest, do it on their own time and not while representing their team. I won’t watch any team that allows players to protest for any cause while in uniform that is not approved by their employer. Team owners need to find some clause in the CBA to fine or dismiss players that continue to protest on company time. A player off duty can protest to their hearts content.

    I have not watched a number of games where I know players were going to show disrespect. I have many friends that have done the same. The players and owners are shooting their selves in the foot with the protesting during the anthem. I prefer watching games live, but I choose to stand my ground when it comes to the anthem. If JJ is making his players stand, I will watch as many of their games as possible.

  51. frankstoeknife says: Oct 7, 2016 2:40 AM

    kenbinc says:
    Oct 6, 2016 9:57 AM
    I’m fairly certain that employers do not have the right to compel their employees to partake in any form of political speech or expression (which is what standing or not standing is).


    In the United States employers can compel employees to partake in any number of speeches and expressions, political or otherwise, via enforcement of standards relating to employee conduct. This includes conduct related to politics to include standing during a song. The trade-off is an employee’s paycheck or even employment if the employee violates the standards of employment. These are most often negotiated prior to employment but can be altered post employment.

    Your veiled assumption that an employer cannot levee a consequence for an employee who doesn’t stand during the National Anthem is wrong.

  52. jag1959 says: Oct 7, 2016 11:40 AM

    skawh says:
    Oct 6, 2016 12:32 PM
    I’m a vet…and you tools are standing at attention like a bunch of newbies in boot camp…

    Newbies? What military are you a vet of?

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