The anthem controversy is subsiding. Unless it isn’t.
As the Week Five games approach, players from one of the teams that will be playing at 1:00 p.m. ET reportedly have been told that they have a choice, via Shaun King of the New York Daily News: Stand for the anthem or stay in the locker room.
The report doesn’t name the team. The teams playing at 1:00 p.m. ET are the Jets, Browns, Panthers, Lions, 49ers, Colts, Titans, Dolphins, Bills, Bengals, Chargers, Giants, Jaguars, Steelers, Cardinals, and Eagles.
Making the report more plausible is the fact that NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart said this week during a media briefing that there are no plans to fine players who choose to remain in the locker room during the anthem, even though league rules require them to be on the field. (League rules do not require players to stand.)
If the mandate ruffled enough feathers to get multiple players to share the ultimatum with King, perhaps the next step will be for the players to authorize disclosure of the team for whom they play. Regardless of which team sent that message, the fact remains that no team has the power to issue that kind of directive.