Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin recently said on HBO that an unnamed NFL owner has told told players to stand for the national anthem because “this is my stage.” It sparked a question as to which owner said it.
There’s a very good chance that the answer is “none at all.”
The “this is my stage” claim sounds similar to a Facebook post that, according to Snopes.com, had been fabricated: “‘You gentlemen are world class athletes, but you are also actors. You perform on a stage that is 100 yards long. Today, you play the role of a patriotic super hero. You will play this role well because you know that millions of children will be watching and looking at your example.'” Then his inner fire started to shine through as he said quietly ‘but most of all I want you to remember, you are the actors, but this is MY stage and you will play the role I tell you to.'”
Initially, the post blamed the comments on Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. The description later was changed to attribute the comments to Chiefs owner Clark Hunt.
It’s entirely possible that one or more players saw the Facebook post, believed it to be true, and began relaying the comments to other players without realizing it had been made up. Baldwin at some point may have heard about the contention, also without realizing it was false.
That would explain the reality that no specific report has emerged that any owner has privately made the statement attributed to one owner by Doug Baldwin.