NFL reiterates that standing for the anthem is not mandatory, sort of

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The NFL finally has addressed the recent comments from Cowboys owner Jerry Jones regarding his expectation that players will stand for the anthem and his interpretation of the game operations manual that, in his opinion, allows him to take that position. And while the NFL has not fired a shot across the bow at Jones, it’s clear that the league disagrees with him. Sort of.

During a media conference call on Tuesday, NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart carefully tiptoed around the issue, citing language that says players “should” stand for the anthem but stopping short of stating that teams may not force them to stand. Lockhart also said that the issue will be “front and center on the agenda” for next week’s quarterly ownership meeting, and that the rule possibly could be changed.

If it changes (for example, a revision of “should” to “must”), the next question becomes whether the NFL must engage in collective bargaining regarding the adjustment. Said Lockhart on that point, “I don’t believe that the anthem per se is an issue that’s collective bargained.”

The NFL Players Association may disagree on that point. If they do, there could be a legal challenge to any effort to change the manual unilaterally.

For now, though, the league’s position seems to be that teams cannot compel players to stand, subject to whatever may happen when all owners get together next week. But since the Cowboys don’t play this weekend, the question of whether Jones will be told that he can or can’t force players to stand (or bench those who don’t) will be subject to discussions among all owners next week that Jones, based on his recent history, may try to dominate.

99 responses to “NFL reiterates that standing for the anthem is not mandatory, sort of

  1. A legal battle…which may go all the way to the Supreme Court….which will refer to the Constitution of this Great Country and support the Freedom of All Americans. God Bless America !

  2. This is a fake news article, I do not believe benching a player constitutes “forcing” said player to stand, as they player still gets paid and incurs no real injury. If you get into the territory of suspending or cutting a player for not standing (I think 49ers already sorta did just that), then you might have something to look at. But an owners, GM, coach can bench a player for whatever reason they want, or for that matter no reason at all. Look at Al Davis back when he was alive and what the Raiders did to Marcus Allen . . . no good reason to bench that hall of fame player other than not like him.

  3. They don’t have to bargain this.

    Do they have to bargain players who screw ordered to run lap?

    Do they have to bargain ending practice early?

    I thing not.

  4. It seems to me that any team can bench any player for any reason whatsoever. If I remember correctly, Belichick once benched Wes Welker for the first quarter of a playoff game for making a few too many foot references prior to a game against the Jets (then coached by Rex Ryan). If Jones wants to bench his players for refusing to stand, he has every right to do so, and the league knows that perfectly well.

  5. If the NFL caves to Trump, I will laugh so freaking hard. That will spell the end of the NFL. Also doing nothing will spell the end of the NFL. It’s hard to see any way the NFL wins here.

  6. I’m a prototypical average American (I did not say NORMAL everybody so don’t get your panties (or boxers) in a wad) and I’m really growing to hate this league and all the drama.

    I’m the canary in the coal mine, they really need to get a handle on all this stuff.

  7. We The Fans Say Other Wise! EVERYONE seems to be Forgetting We Are The OWNERS who pays EVERYONE!
    Dont Forget Everyone works for US! AND OUR ACTIONS WILL BE SEEN AND HEARD LOUD!

  8. Do they bargain dress code on away games? This is a simply expectation like showing up for work or being at your flight on time. Common sense.

  9. Conduct detrimental to Club—maximum fine of an amount equal to one week’s salary and/or suspension without pay for a period not to exceed four (4) weeks. This maximum applies without limitation to any deactivation of a player in response to player conduct (other than a deactivation in response to a player’s on-field playing ability), and any such deactivation, even with pay, shall be considered discipline subject to the limits set forth in this section.

  10. The players have the Constitutional right to protest whatever they wish to protest. They do not, however, have the Constitutional right to do so on the stage provided for them by the NFL. If the NFL allows them to protest on the field, that is a privilege afforded them by the NFL, not a right granted by the Constitution.

  11. The players and the PA tell us that they are not protesting the flag nor the anthem and that they are not disrepsecting the flag nor anthem … and they expect us to blindly believe them. So my guess then is that the players and the PA will have no issue blindly believing any owner who benches players that don’t stand for the anthem when the owner tells those players that they didn’t get benched because they didn’t stand. Two can play this game.

  12. charger383 says:
    October 10, 2017 at 12:17 pm
    remember what Al Davis did when he got mad at Marcus Allen?
    __________________________________________________

    The days of the true maverick are gone. Both for better and worse there is no Al Davis among this group of owners.

  13. Workplace policy is workplace policy. Can be revised by the company without consent or approval from employee. All employees must abide by workplace policies or may be subject to discipline, up to and including loss of employment.

    If you have any concerns, please consult your local HR representative.

  14. Yes I see the greedy NFLPA turning this into a money issue. “We will stand but we want?????”. I read a statement some one wrote it went something like this, The American Flag is draped over the coffin of a dead service man or woman, then folded and given to their family member for there sacrifice yet people try to use the flag as a way of protesting without taking in the feelings of others. SMH

  15. I just wish this would end so the cry babies would quit whining about it Trump the biggest offender. Make the rule like NBA does then the players can do something else to voice their opinions. Or just get rid of it entirely. I don’t spend my time and money to watch what people do during the national anthem. Stand or kneel or do whatever. No one should be forced to do anything thats not a rule as things stand right now. Just tired of this mess and all the damn crybabies that get offended from kneeling.

  16. It isn’t up to the league to decide this, it is up to the owners. There are 32 franchises which make up the NFL. Each owner has the right to determine how his/her employees conduct themselves on company time, and for the NFL, company time is game day at the stadium.

    The NFL office had better tread VERY carefully here. Any type of statement that even appears to be supporting anthem protests is going to be very costly in terms of ratings, and then revenue.

  17. Whether the Cowboys stand or not, they are 2-3 right now. Jones can only wish that was fake news.

  18. They are looking in the wrong place. I consider this issue to also be unsportsmanlike conduct under Section 3, Article 1. This includes but is not limited to insulting gestures and “excessive .. demonstrations” by individual or multiple players. Some such acts are can be penalized only if they occur on the playing field, but others include the “bench area.” Flagrant unsportsmanlike conduct results in player disqualification.

    Done.

  19. Thank you Trump! For showing these players that you WILL respect the flag, or you will lose your job(because in this case the all mighty dollar speaks louder than any opinion). Unfortunately the NFL sat on their hands too long and it took a huge drop in revenue to see Trump’s position was actually the position they should’ve taken all along.

  20. It is all about the $$$. Trump tweets about looking into the sweet deal on Taxes the NFL is getting at the expense of the taxpayer. So now the NFL will do something. Trump is trying to hit the NFL in the pockets. All about the $$$

  21. This “Must” and “Should” business is an entirely synthetic argument because rules often say “should” – e.g., a zebra “should” throw a flag when he thinks a defender “should” have had time to avoid roughing the passer, and so on. If a team keeps on omitting to place pylons correctly for each game, you might expect a small fine? Well, the rules only say how they “should” be placed, but try telling that to the NFL office! The key is not the difference between should and must, but whether there is a penalty for not doing what you should do.

  22. The kneeling to get more attention worked, I get it…but now it’s causing more harm than it’s helping. Personally, I found it more of an impact for the players and coaches to stand with arms linked during the anthem to show unity. I don’t think kneeling during the anthem is going to stop a racially motivated person/officer to stop their hated towards another race. Unfortunately, this kneeling issues is probably provoking it now.

  23. NFL, Owners & Players seem to be forgetting who are the ones who make it possible to put food on their tables. The Fans! You can stick your injustice b.s. where the sun don’t shine.

  24. richabbs says:
    October 10, 2017 at 12:35 pm
    I wonder how many people have to be at work each morning and salute the flag while the National Anthem plays, before they start working?

    Where the heck does this even happen? Ridiculous strawman analogy.

    No one is obliged to freeze wherever they are standing to salute if they happen to hear the anthem on the radio or TV. It only matters when you are in attendance physically, not virtually.

  25. ipeefreelyagain says:
    October 10, 2017 at 12:24 pm
    Workplace policy is workplace policy. Can be revised by the company without consent or approval from employee. All employees must abide by workplace policies or may be subject to discipline, up to and including loss of employment.
    ——————————————–
    That’s not entirely true here. When it comes to issues of player discipline for conduct, there is a collectively bargained employment contract in place.

  26. .
    Lockhart is in favor of returning to the “pay for patriotism” days. That’s when the NFL was paid 6.8 million per year for unfurling a flag on the field for less than 3 minutes prior to the opening kickoff.
    .

  27. “matman13 says:
    October 10, 2017 at 12:22 pm
    The players have the Constitutional right to protest whatever they wish to protest. They do not, however, have the Constitutional right to do so on the stage provided for them by the NFL. If the NFL allows them to protest on the field, that is a privilege afforded them by the NFL, not a right granted by the Constitution.”
    ——————————————————————
    Labor unions would NEVER have come into existence if your line of reasoning had been followed!

  28. 49ersfury says:
    October 10, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    NFLPA..weakest union in history. An embarrassment to all unions everywhere.
    —–
    NFLPA hasn’t bent yet. I have thought all along that Trump’s ultimate goal was to test the strength of unions and to get the public behind a company forcing unilateral changes to a collectively bargained contract. It would go to court and public support would be behind the NFL. If court rejected NFL there would be public support for legislation weakening unions. Note that there are a few union cases being decided by the Supreme Court this term.

  29. “weepingjebus says:
    October 10, 2017 at 12:33 pm
    They are looking in the wrong place. I consider this issue to also be unsportsmanlike conduct under Section 3, Article 1. This includes but is not limited to insulting gestures and “excessive .. demonstrations” by individual or multiple players. Some such acts are can be penalized only if they occur on the playing field, but others include the “bench area.” Flagrant unsportsmanlike conduct results in player disqualification.

    Done.
    —————————————————-
    How can standing up for one’s personal belief in inclusiveness and equality for ALL Americans be called “unsportsmanlike conduct”?

  30. The players have the Constitutional right to protest whatever they wish to protest. They do not, however, have the Constitutional right to do so on the stage provided for them by the NFL. If the NFL allows them to protest on the field, that is a privilege afforded them by the NFL, not a right granted by the Constitution.
    _________________________________________________________________________

    You are right, it IS a privilege afforded to them by the NFL. In the manual like this article talks about. The NFL does NOT say they have to stand. And the fact that its mentioned in there at all with that kind of ambiguity means its the players choice. And, as mentioned in the article, any attempt by the NFL to change a rule forcing players to do something they wernt forced to do before can be challenged by the NFLPA as part of their union contract. Until the NFL goes through that disaster waiting to happen, the NFL cant make them do anything regarding the anthem

  31. Seprix says:

    If the NFL caves to Trump, I will laugh so freaking hard. That will spell the end of the NFL.
    ======================================================

    “Caving” to Trump is “caving” to the vast majority of fans. You know, the people who the NFL gets their money from.

  32. Not standing for the National Anthem is clearly disrespectful and don’t try to “spin it” with social commentary like it’s not. Why don’t players just stay in the locker room where they can’t even hear it. Those who want to stay in the locker room can. But to be asked to stand for the National Anthem and then intentionally kneeling is just wrong plain and simple. If the MSM is too PC not to call them out as disrespectful, then we true Americans must.

  33. Any unilateral attempt by the NFL to stop the protests will probably result in increasing the protests by the players.

  34. The players aren’t employed by the NFL, they are employed by the team. Jerry Jones is their boss. He can mandate certain rules for his employees in the work place.

  35. Something tells me if Clinton had won the election and the players were protesting something related to her, that all the feaux flag wavers and Patriots would have an opinion 180 degrees from what you’re voicing now.

  36. Meh, Employers can make the rules for employees. I have no problem with protesting during the anthem or an owner disciplining a player for protesting during the anthem.

    I don’t want a government official to waste tax dollars making a political statement about it however. Feel free to voice an opinion, just don’t do it on everyone’s dime.

  37. MNF was down double digits from last week’s Kansas Chiefs’ 29-20 victory over the Washington Redskins

    Keep it up dummies

  38. As an Eagles fan, I respect Jerry for this. He is still a scumbag though. He allows all kinds disgusting players play for his team, but this is where he draws the line. Kind of funny, but I love that he has done this.

    Also, not sure the NFLPA would have any say in the matter. Sure, they will try to fight the league on this, but I doubt they get far. The NFL has every right to add “must” instead of “should” and make it mandatory, otherwise suffer the penalties, and Jones has every right to make demands of his team as he sees fit as long as it isn’t against the law, and this isn’t, regardless if the NFL changes the context of the policy or not. And the NFL doesn’t really have to change the rule at all. They could just let the teams keep doing what they are doing. Let Jones handle it the way he wants and let the other teams handle it the way they want. Honestly, I think it would be the worst thing for them to make a decision one way or the other. If they change it to “must”, then the one side will come out and make a fuss, and if they make it so teams can’t do anything like Jones wants to do, then the other side will make a fuss.

    I’m honestly just tired of politics in sports. I don’t care about players standing, kneeling or sitting for the flag, That never really bothered me. I just don’t care to hear what they are crying about. I watch sports for sports. I watch political channels for politics. At this point, it is just a spectacle, just to say “hey, look at me! I am so self righteous!”. They already “raised awareness”, and them kneeling isn’t “helping their cause” anymore. If they really are worried about social inequality and whatever else they say this is for, then action is the next step. This stuff being in the news isn’t creating anything to help that, because no one is talking about fixing these perceived issues. They are talking about kneeling or whatever, anything but these issues. At this point, all you are literally doing is highlighting yourself while dividing more people. This is why you keep politics secluded in it’s little corner because politics divides more people than anything else on the face of this earth.

    And lastly, Trump created all this. Whether he ultimately ends up winning the issue or not is still up in the air, and some may deny that this is because of him, but it is. Because Trump spoke out, it caused all NFL teams to go to extremes to make a statement, and because of that, caused an almost equal reaction, which now many teams have backed down for whatever reason. Maybe they always felt the way Trump did like I am sure Ross and Jones probably did or maybe because of the controversy surrounding teams like the Steelers that had some mishaps on handling it. Right now, this is more of a win, for Trump, than not.

  39. Can I add a little common sense here? PLEASE

    Ok, the players WERE standing for the anthem for years, now they decide to protest!

    And this site is suggesting they have to bargain into the contract something they were already doing.

    If they stopped tackling one game, would you suggest they have to bargain tacking into the contract?

    Move on!

  40. It isn’t up to the league to decide this, it is up to the owners.

    You’re half wrong. The League *is* the owners. What shouldn’t happen is every team enforcing their own version of what they think the rule should be, as Jerruh has decided to go ahead and do. Which is why they’ll discuss it at the owner’s meeting next week. Once they reach a consensus, the League will then enforce it.

  41. I’ve noticed that throughout this entire year long drama, there is one thing the NFL, union and virtually every sportswriter and talking head has avoided addressing. The opinion of fans. Also known as customers.

  42. October 10, 2017 at 12:35 pm
    I wonder how many people have to be at work each morning and salute the flag while the National Anthem plays, before they start working?

    —————

    I wonder how many people work less than half the year playing a game for more money than most will see in a lifetime.

  43. NFL FACTS

    In 2012 the NFL had an issue with Tim Tebow kneeling for each game to pray, they also had an issue with Tebow wearing John 3:16 as part of his blackout to avoid glare and made him take it off.

    In 2013 the NFL fined Brandon Marshall for wearing green cleats to raise awareness for people with mental health disorders.

    In 2014 Robert Griffin III (RG3) entered a post-game press conference wearing a shirt that said “Know Jesus Know Peace” but was forced to turn it inside out by an NFL uniform inspector before speaking at the podium.

    In 2015 DeAngelo Williams was fined for wearing “Find the Cure” eye black for breast cancer awareness.

    In 2015 William Gay was fined for wearing purple cleats to raise awareness for domestic violence. (not that the NFL has a domestic violence problem…)

    In 2016 the NFL prevented the Dallas Cowboys from wearing a decal on their helmet in honor of 5 Dallas Police officers killed in the line of duty.

    In 2016 the NFL threatened to fine players who wanted to wear cleats to commemorate the 15th anniversary of 9/11.

    So tell me again how the NFL supports free speech and expression all of a sudden…

  44. Why even have the anthem at sporting events? Half the crowd has always disrespected it one way or another and didn’t the NFL until recently bill the DOD for all this pomp ?I’m tired of all this holier than thou fake patriotism.

  45. “It isn’t up to the league to decide this, it is up to the owners. There are 32 franchises which make up the NFL. Each owner has the right to determine how his/her employees conduct themselves on company time, and for the NFL, company time is game day at the stadium.

    The NFL office had better tread VERY carefully here. Any type of statement that even appears to be supporting anthem protests is going to be very costly in terms of ratings, and then revenue”

    No, that isn’t the case. The NFL belongs to the owners who make the rules. The commissioner works for the owners, not the players. Example, there is no law that says I cannot smoke cigarettes so if I go to a Workplace and decide to smoke a pack in the lobby, it’s my constitutional right to do so. But if that Workplace has a sign that says “no smoking policy”, they have the right to fire me (if I am an employee) or eject me from their workplace. If I tell them I have the constitutional right to smoke and refuse to leave, they will have me arrested. And the arrest will stick because I will be charged with causing a disturbance. The reason I say this the Niners took a knee at Indy. Indy doesn’t control Niners players. Though Indy could require the Niners who took a knee to leave the premises if that is the stadiums policy. If the Niners refuse, they could be arrested. Before it gets to that, the official policy of the OWNER’s (NFL) needs to REQUIRE players abide by the NFL Handbook or risk Fines, Suspension or Team’s losing draft picks. This isn’t rocket science here. If the players don’t respect our flag and country, they can leave. You can respect the flag and country AND can protest as well so long as you have a petition that is approved to do so. That is why HATERS have the right to do so in cities regardless of why they protest. Technically, the city itself could arrest those taking a knee for protesting without an approved petition to do so. I can’t cause a public disturbance just because I have a right to free speech. I must petition to do so.

  46. Kneeling during the anthem has lost all meaning at this point. Whatever the players were protesting or attempting to bring attention to is gone. Now the kneeling itself is the story. The players in their rush to follow the SJ crowd and the NFL for catering to this behavior now look like complete idiots.

  47. I’ve noticed that throughout this entire year long drama, there is one thing the NFL, union and virtually every sportswriter and talking head has avoided addressing. The opinion of fans. Also known as customers….

    People have never mattered to the Left, and the talking heads are scared to be call racist by their peers if they go against the protests. It only matter if it effects the bottom line of the NFL…and it has…The media just hasn’t understood that yet.

    It took Target a loss of 2 billion and cutting their CEOs salary in half and they still are arrogant and haven’t learned

  48. The comment above about Al Davis not playing Marcus Allen because Davis was a jerk and just didn’t like him is spot on. If Jerry Jones as employer chooses not to play a player (WHO IS STILL BEING PAYED!) he has every right to do so.

  49. mcconne77 says:
    October 10, 2017 at 1:25 pm
    Kneeling during the anthem has lost all meaning at this point. Whatever the players were protesting or attempting to bring attention to is gone.

    —–

    Kaep was protesting losing the starting position to a guy named Blaine Gabbert. And you are correct the point is over as Kaep is no longer on a team.

  50. Honoring vets by actually taking care of them? Puerto Rico? Russia interference? Not when there are people kneeling. Nosirreee. This is far too important to let go. We have to get these ingrates in line and make me feel better about my life.

    Forcing people to follow a predetermined ritual to appease my patriotism gene is in no way like what Soviet Russia or North Korea have done and continue to do.

    Sleazy owners, rapists, wife and child abusers, pedophiles? That won’t drive me from football. But inserting politics into football…THAT’S where I draw the line. Just like my buddy, Jerry Jones.

    (And to all of you who don’t understand, the above comment is completely dripping with sarcasm)

  51. The Monday night ratings were down because the game sucked. Neither the Bears or Vikings are marquee teams people tune in to see.

    The NFL isn’t losing money over protests no matter what a bunch of righteous idiots think.

  52. Liberalsruineverything says:
    October 10, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    We’ll see who has the real power on Veterans Day weekend when the fans that love this country leave their TVs off. Then the real fun begins.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    We ALL love this country. No one gets to dictate how that love should be expressed. To do so is so North Korean.

  53. fievel03 says:

    Collective bargaining to determine whether or not to enforce mandatory patriotism.
    =================================================================

    It’s respect, not patriotism.

  54. jimmysee says:

    We ALL love this country. No one gets to dictate how that love should be expressed. To do so is so North Korean.
    =====================================================

    So why did Kaepernick say America is oppressive, why did he bash capitalism and why did he wear a Castro shirt?

  55. Last year Cam Newtown was briefly benched because of a dress code violation. In 2015 the Cowboys cut 2 players b/c they did not wear suits on a road trip. The teams set the rules for behavior on company time, period.

  56. It will never cease to amaze me how many people commenting on a football site apparently hate football, but just have nothing else to do with their time. Is it really a boycott if you still spend every sunday obsessing over the NFL?

  57. The threat of speech-related termination creates a powerful economic pressure for self-censorship. This self-censorship compromises the free exchange of ideas necessary for a func­tional and inclusive democracy

  58. Bottom line… The Flag is about patronage and honor to our Nation and has very little to do with Armed Service(s) — we have Memorial and Veterans Day for those purposes to honor our brave men and women who fight for our freedom. The furtherance of disobedience by NFL players was clearly brought upon by Trump’s bashing of NFL players, exhorting that they ought to be fired for not standing during the playing of the National Anthem. But we also have Freedom of Speech and are not required to recite and/or pledge “allegiance” to Our Flag, if you are not “feeling it” due to sociopolitical unrest (i.e., Twitter-tweets from President Trump etc.). The only viable solution is to allow NFL players to stand in the tunnel until the Nation Anthem services are completed, then bring them onto the field. That should immediately quash any further controversy.

  59. ipeefreelyagain says:
    October 10, 2017 at 12:24 pm
    Workplace policy is workplace policy. Can be revised by the company without consent or approval from employee. All employees must abide by workplace policies or may be subject to discipline, up to and including loss of employment.

    If you have any concerns, please consult your local HR representative.

    ——————————————————————————
    It can be revised but it cant be applied without the consent of the Union. That happens in a lot of companies, why would the NFL be any different?

  60. only in good ole ´merica….

    1. revenue
    2. people perception
    and last and least:
    3. fan
    but, complain less and do more. If u dont like the NFL nowadays dont watch the games. Make your voice heard. I believe there isnt an NFL Owner reading this post. However each and every owner is interested in his team´s financial statments.

  61. I don’t know about the specific collective bargaining rules concerning operations concerns but the CBA does state that individual teams can discipline players for “conduct detrimental to the team” and the application of that term is solely up to the individual teams. The maximum penalty is a 4 game suspension.

    I would equate standing for the anthem while in uniform representing the team with other team specific requirements set forth by ownership or the head coach. Similar to penalties for infractions such as missing the team bus/charter, publicly disrespecting the team/coach/players etc.

    Bottom line is simple: the owners are starting to fear a drop in profits, loss of sponsors and PR damage to the league as a whole as well as to each individual team in their local and extended markets. This is exactly what all those folks that threatened to walk away were saying. It is evident that some of this has already started.

    Many fans refuse to attend or even watch games until the issue is resolved. Many more do not turn on the games until after the anthem/protests are done. The networks are the primary income source for the NFL and even some of them have publicly stated they will not air the anthem or the protests. Why? Because they fear a loss of money and need to hang on to advertisers which they use to offset the cost for their NFL game broadcasting deals.

    Viewership has been consistently dropping since the protests started last year and advertisers are starting to see profits drop. If fans start turning on sponsors of the NFL their profits tank and the league’s fate is sealed. Simply put, the pro kneeling stance has no hope of anything that could be considered successful and its continuance will negatively impact the teams, league and even the players themselves. Some of the owners already realize this and it will not be difficult to convince the rest at the meeting next week.

  62. Well, that article missed the ‘elephant in the room’ by trying to suggest the ‘cheese on the mouse trap’ dictates what ‘zoo keepers’ can & can’t do. And for those working with fewer brain cells than the average monkey, I’ll be more specific. The phrase “the league’s position seems to be that teams cannot compel players to stand” has 2 issues.

    1) “seems to be” could just as well be “seems not to be”, both wordings mean the exact same thing. That being, it’s just one person’s interpretation & that person is promoting one side the argument using concepts intended to “program” the readers to see the information in just 1 way, their way…which should not be misinterpreted to mean the ‘accurate’ way.
    2) The owners, or anyone for that matter, can “compel” anyone to do anything they want (apart from committing a crime). And a team’s decision to sit it’s own players, for virtually any reason they so chose, is solely up to the team’s management & owners. No one, with any relevance, will ever say otherwise. And stating they might shows more about your bias to the discussion (bought & paid for?) rather than a commitment to any semblance of reality.

    If you recall just a few short days ago, Jones was literally kneeling on the field with the players. What changed? Cut endorsements & largely reduced National viewership, which both translate to lost revenue…and a lot of it. And, you would be wrong if you think Jones is the only owner taking notice. Not only are the other 31 owners concerned, but I bet most players aren’t happy either…since NFL profits is what derives the profit sharing calculation used to derive the Team’s Max Cap.

    Lost NFL revenue = lost cap space = lost potential future player’s income increases.

    So, every player taking a knee is effectively reducing the income the entire NFLPA can expect in the future. And, those players might be under contract now…but what happens when their contract is expired & there is a different player, with a higher character, is equally as good & available? Musical chairs will happen & no one will ever remember their name or their stupid cause.

  63. The way your team is playing all the Bengals fans should get on their knees and pray for a bunch of new players.
    And tell a friend of mine who got hit by shrapnel when another soldier stepped on a mine in Viet Nam he’s a crybaby because hew thinks these spoiled NFL players are wrong, too.

  64. So, it is illegal to force a person to make any statement or action of allegiance under any circumstances in this “free country.” Nifty that the 1943 Supreme Court decision explaining it was the result of a workplace incident. Should be a slam dunk when the Bennett brothers (I am guessing they would be first) sue to blow up such a rule should ownership be stupid enough to try.

  65. So suppose half the Cowboy’s lineup takes a knee. Jerry’s gonna sit half his team? Yeah right. When will people see that all the time the media and the country spend talking about this is time we aren’t spending on how our democracy is being crippled by a foreign government? Some people’s sense of patriotism is really twisted.

  66. Just completed week 3 of my boycott of NFL games. Except this week I realized it was no longer a boycott. Now it’s simply apathy. I miss it NONE.

    I’m gone for good.

  67. No one has done a poll asking percentage of fans reaction to all this, so anyone who says they know is lying. But the actual numbers do not matter. Some people are offended by the kneeling during the anthem. Whether it is 20%, 50% or 70% it does not matter. A smart business does not piss off some of their customers. This kneeling stuff is not helping any minority. The only thing it seems to affect is NFL popularity. But only Jones has the guts to tell it like it is.

  68. So suppose half the Cowboy’s lineup takes a knee. Jerry’s gonna sit half his team? Yeah right. When will people see that all the time the media and the country spend talking about this is time we aren’t spending on how our democracy is being crippled by a foreign government? Some people’s sense of patriotism is really twisted.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    He obviously wouldn’t sit half the team but he could easily fine them all. As with Kaepernick, many of these players’ actions based on principles would quickly be altered the moment it costs them some money.

  69. I’m glad someone mentioned the permit thing. The right to assemble peaceful protest is a right, but it is regulated. A permit is required, zoning is required and because the stadiums aren’t all publicly owned those permits would have been denied. There’s a reason pro-Lifers aren’t allowed to protest within the Abortion clinics themselves, they have to remain a set distance away from the entrance, by law!

    If I owned a stadium I’d have police on hand to escort out any protesters including the Players. Technically it’s their property and the protesters would be trespassing. See how many players stick to their convictions then.

  70. The NFL will be taking steps against this. Allowing political protests by their employees while on the job is not good for their bottom line.

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