NFL exec: “We want the players to stand”

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The NFL wants its players to stand for the national anthem. But the NFL knows it can’t force them to stand. Which underscores the dilemma that the NFL continues to face as it tries to persuade players to choose to stand.

NFL Senior V.P. of Sponsorship & Partnership Management Renie Anderson addressed the issue at the 2017 Sports Marketing Symposium. Via SportsBusiness Daily, Anderson summarized and emphasized the league’s position like this: “To be clear, we want the players to stand. We also respect their right to a peaceful protest.”

“America is passionate about football, and we are clearly seeing how much they care about our sport, especially recently,” Anderson said. “Patriotism is woven throughout everything that we do, and we need to respect and admire all that the men and women that serve our country do.”

The “patriotism” comment reflects the root of the problem. At some point, the NFL decided to make its players organic props in the effort to wrap the shield in a giant flag (hell, the shield even LOOKS like a flag) by having the players emerge from the locker room before the anthem begins, instead of running from the tunnel after the anthem has played. And the league’s thermal exhaust port (NERD!) on this issue has become the presence of the word “should” not “must” in the portion of the policy regarding standing.

The solution remains simple. Approach the NFL Players Association and suggest a joint policy that requires standing in exchange for a dramatic overhaul of, well, the joint policy. The league doesn’t have to legalize marijuana use by players; it needs to simply make the penalties the equivalent of a parking ticket, by making the threshold for a violation ridiculously, well, high or delaying a suspension until the policy has been violated something like, well, 420 times.

Is the Commissioner willing or interested in solving the problem by striking such a deal? For now, apparently not. With major sponsors becoming vocal about the situation and with owners like Jerry Jones trying to drive such a hard bargain with the Commissioner’s new contract that the Commissioner says,”I’m out,” this is precisely the kind of outcome the Commissioner needs to be proactively engineering.

41 responses to “NFL exec: “We want the players to stand”

  1. So asking the players to stop disrespecting the flag, our country, and stop making our fans mad, we are willing to allow players to smoke up the weed???
    what kind of freakin example is that sending to kids?
    Seriously??
    That really IS letting the inmates run the prison.

  2. Wow, great suggestion. Having the players be forced to stand while shifting the weed policy to mimic the alcohol one. It would eliminate two annoying topics constantly covered by this site.

  3. Pretty simple. If an employee doesn’t do what his employer asks him to do, he gets suspended or fired. If the whole team does it, it’s a forfeit, and players do not receive their game checks.

  4. The solution is simpler than even approaching the NFLPA, stop playing the National Anthem before games. Take away the reason for protests and protect these idiots from themselves.

  5. the fact that this is even a debate squares solely on goodell’s head..he has got to go. personally, i do not care if you don’t stand but it’s the farcical reasons you arent that i cannot get on board with. it’s 2017, america has never been more diverse..your ‘protest’ was rejected soundly by a majority of americans. time to move on. i voted for obama twice & i know people like to pretend that people like me dont exist but im an american & ive had enough of these race-baiting hustlers

  6. Do I read this to mean that you think the players will give up kneeling for a change in the marijuana rule?
    That would really show that they were shallow in their protests.

  7. The National Anthem isn’t the reason for the protests, but it is a tool to get you guys to pay attention to a larger problem. How some don’t get that, I’ll never understand.

  8. The problem is simple. The league didn’t have the foresight to see the misinterpretation. They could have gone to Kaepernick last year and said “We have a rule on the books about players standing. We won’t punish you if you stand from now on. But while we understand and respect your viewpoint on the issue involved, your protest during the national anthem is subject to misinterpretation by fans and sponsors. We don’t want that, you don’t want that. What we can do in exchange is provide the players a league-sanctioned press conference or town hall where players can express themselves about the issue.”

    That would have solved everything last year. But the league wasn’t/isn’t smart enough to predict the consequences, and now they’re stuck.

  9. Protest on your personal time. When you take the field you are in the workplace and are working. Players love to say when the public talks about how much they get paid to “play a game’ and it’s not a “game” to them it’s “work”. Well if you are at “work” you should not be allowed to protest anything. I know I can’t protest anything at my job when I’m on the clock.

  10. Laughing at the absurdity of the suggested resolution. Can you imagine the optics of the players giving up on the anthem protest as long as they can smoke weed with impunity? That would be too rich.

  11. Wow. That would shoot a huge hole in the protests meaning. Players” we will trade in our platform of trying to draw attention to minority’s being gunned down in the street for some weed.” Then turn around and shout “but black life’s still matter to us.” Please do that. Show your true colors players

  12. youngnoizecom says:
    November 1, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    The National Anthem isn’t the reason for the protests, but it is a tool to get you guys to pay attention to a larger problem. How some don’t get that, I’ll never understand.
    ———————-

    We got it a year and a half ago. Where we are currently at is “Now what?”

    The NFL owners or the bozos in the league office aren’t going to solve or even ameliorate a problem that has been around for decades. So what exactly do these players want? I might have some interest if they were out doing something, instead of just kneeling and waiting for someone else to do something.

  13. This is actually pretty simple, Standing players have the right to do so, BUT, they upset their fan base, they don’t care the neg. press does not bother them.
    The fans have just as much right to tune out the TV, and boycott games Hey it is only about 70-80% being offended.
    What happens then? less sellouts mean Blackouts which cuts a teams fan base TV coverage, BY A LOT!, Lower TV ratings and less coverage make Advertisers drop out, or demand to pay less. Fewer Jersey sales added in with fewer players selling shoes, jock straps or back rubs especially Standing players. All this leads to far less revenue, less money means smaller player Contracts.
    Summary: They have the right to Stand, we have the right to control their pay checks. SEE? Simple.

  14. This will never be resolved unless the NFL does something dramatic. The players have rights and they know it, so what would it take for the NFL to give something back to the players in exchange for standing for the anthem ? Legalize marijuana is an interesting start, but the players probably would rather have commish Goodell gone.

  15. The National Anthem isn’t the reason for the protests, but it is a tool to get you guys to pay attention to a larger problem. How some don’t get that, I’ll never understand…

    Oh we get it, we just don’t buy into anti American, anti White and anti authority rhetoric..

  16. So it is a violation of a player’s “rights” if the NFL makes them stand for the National Anthem BUT if the Union says they have to do it, it’s fine? Think that proves it isn’t a “right”.

  17. youngnoizecom says:
    November 1, 2017 at 5:20 pm
    The National Anthem isn’t the reason for the protests, but it is a tool to get you guys to pay attention to a larger problem. How some don’t get that, I’ll never understand.

    What is it that you don’t get? We know the Anthem isn’t the reason for the protests, it is that they use the flag and anthem to do the protest in front, which is complete disrespect to many many things. Want to protest? Fine! Just pick another avenue.

  18. Wait. So get the players stoned so they stand? Is that really the best solution you could come up with?!?

  19. Stop using the flag and the anthem as a toilet and just maybe somebody will give a crap about whatever cause takes your focus away from your duties as a football player. Kneeling Football League is smart to continue to move their games out of the country because they and their employees sure don’t like it very much. Looks like Bruce Maxwell will need a job soon, Kneeling Football League is a great place for him to restart his career. He’ll fit right into what they are focused on.

  20. The league needs to respect the players’ protest. Fighting it demonstrates a lack of understanding.

    The idea that the players would give up their right to protest in exchange for a new drug policy is ridiculous.

  21. Sounds like continuing to kick the can down the road.. How’s that working for ya so far? The solution’s as simple as it’s always been, require standing and keep the politics out of the game.

  22. I generally have respected Florio’s commentary on the protest, but this suggestion is somewhere between bonkers straight out disrespectful of the players. The players have been clear from day one that they are acting to draw attention to widespread societal racism, both in law enforcement and elsewhere. They have held onto this position despite misrepresentations by critics and threats to their livelihood. There is no reason to believe they would now trade their honor and principles for a bong hit or two.

  23. Some of these comments show a 100% complete inability to understand the players are NOT simple employees. They ARE the product and it sucks when your product has its own thoughts and believes and can act on them. It also sucks when your greed made you make the players part of your tax payer money grab years ago when the NFL charged the pentagon for its pre-game recruitment show. Go back to having no players on the filed during the anthem, like it used to be.

  24. Every job I ever had there were rules for distraction. These players are upsetting a large portion of the fan base, which is causing lowered ratings.
    They are paid to play Football. These actions are controversial, they would be unacceptable behavior on every job I have had, unless a specific clause in their Private contract stated so.
    I am not saying they do not have the right to do it but they are doing it on a broadcast medium (TV) that their employers are providing It is very expensive so if they want to protest in the parking lot, fine but I’ll bet a BILL for their Time standing and distracting from normal actions for the exact cost of team and League expenses would make most think twice.
    I just cannot feel there is a measure of “sticking it to Whitey” lying just under the surface.

  25. The NFL as a private entity..and each club..as a private entity CAN force their players to stand. The first amendment covers what the gov’t cannot do..not what private businesses can or cannot do.

  26. “But the NFL knows it can’t force them to stand.”

    Why not?

    it forces players to take drug tests… all the time

    it suspends players for hitting their wife/girlfriend…all the time

    it kicks players out of the game for two unsportsmanlike penalties

  27. Wow. This is ridiculous. He’s out of a job because he stinks. So should I be able to sue any hospital that doesn’t hire me… oh wait, I’m not a doctor… same idea, Cap is not a good QB. He’s out of a job. No one wants him. Boohoo. When a person can sue because someone won’t hire him after HE passed up his last year of a contract, then I would say that every player who ever wanted to play in the NFL but no team would take him should sue! This is dumb.

  28. The National Anthem isn’t the reason for the protests, but it is a tool to get you guys to pay attention to a larger problem. How some don’t get that, I’ll never understand.
    …………………………

    The anthem may not be the reason for the protest, but the fact that they have chosen to disrespect it speaks volumes about their integrity. If you will never understand that then you are not wanting to understand.

  29. selgaeinla says:

    Some of these comments show a 100% complete inability to understand the players are NOT simple employees. They ARE the product and it sucks when your product has its own thoughts and believes and can act on them.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Really?

    They aren’t the product – the game is the product.

    The players can be replaced and you still have the product.

    The NFL is getting along quite well without Kaepernick, thank you. Many would say they are better off without him.

    The NFL would get along just fine without the players that would actually walk away from their best option of financial success – if they had to make a choice.

    The players currently kneeling have already started the ball rolling downhill for the future years salary cap being adversely affected. This impact will be felt for years by all NFL players – not just the kneelers (who most likely will be out of the league in the not to distant future).

    How many, if given the option, would walk away? Five? Ten? How about I give you that 32 players (1 per team) would walk away???

    The NFL would be absolutely fine if 32 players walked away from the game today.

    I know that the majority of Americans feel the same way.

  30. “But the NFL knows it can’t force them to stand. Which underscores the dilemma that the NFL continues to face as it tries to persuade players to choose to stand.”

    ——————————————————————————————–

    So…. the NFL “can’t” force the players to stand..?!?! Yet, they can force them to not wear certain brands of cleats, not wear certain color socks, prevent them from putting stickers on their helmets, prevent them from kneeling in prayer, etc… but… OH NO… they can’t prevent them from kneeling during the anthem…..mmmmmm riiiiiiiight.

  31. thoughtlessintheextreme says:
    November 1, 2017 at 5:15 pm
    If religion is the opiate of the masses, then flags and anthems are their crystal meth.
    —–
    Better would be.. if kneeling propaganda is the opiate, flags and anthems are the methadone.

  32. So…. the NFL “can’t” force the players to stand..?!?! Yet, they can force them to not wear certain brands of cleats, not wear certain color socks, prevent them from putting stickers on their helmets, prevent them from kneeling in prayer, etc… but… OH NO… they can’t prevent them from kneeling during the anthem…..mmmmmm riiiiiiiight.

    That’s exactly right? Why has it taken you so long to figure that out? They have strict protocols already in place for uniform/dress standards before, during and after games…and that’s not counting team rules (see Newton, Cam sitting for the start of the 2016 game against Seattle). That’s been in place for decades. This bs with the Anthem has only been around since the military started paying them to do it in 2009.

  33. What’s wrong with the statement? They said they would like them to stand but they respect their right not to. I, for instance, would like pineapple to not be an available topping on pizza but I respect your right to order it.

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