NFLPA reiterates players’ rights to protest

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In the aftermath of Dolphins owner Stephen Ross saying that his players will stand during the national anthem in 2018 and then backtracking by saying he won’t force them to stand, the NFL Players Association has reminded everyone of the current status of the relationship between management and labor regarding the rights of players to participate in protests.

“Our union is proud of all of our players whenever they express themselves for a bigger purpose,” the union said in a statement. “During this past season, we received assurances from both Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Chairman of the Management Council, John Mara, that the right of players to demonstrate would be protected. We are glad that both the Houston Texans and Miami Dolphins have clarified their positions to be consistent with what was confirmed with our union leadership, and we expect all other NFL teams to maintain the same commitment to protecting those rights.”

The anthem controversy had been dormant for months, but it returned on Monday, via a report from the Houston Chronicle suggesting that the Texans won’t be interested in free agents who were involved in protests. (The Texans strongly disputed the suggestion.) The Monday night comments from Ross led to his effort on Tuesday to put the toothpaste back in the tube.

Some believe that the NFL will consider changing the anthem protocol to what it was before players became props in the league’s effort to wrap itself in the flag, having them stay in the locker room until after the anthem has been performed.

48 responses to “NFLPA reiterates players’ rights to protest

  1. Ahhh …. props for the league. So what are the NBA players? What’s the rule again in that league??

  2. Nobody has ever disputed the players right to protest. That right is ingrained in this great country. What is also great about this country is we don’t have to stand by and have our flag disrespected and clap happily. You slap people in the face, they will slap back and cost everyone involved millions of dollars.

  3. It’s also the right of the fan to protest these protest by withholding discretionary funds supporting these teams that allow this form of protest will employees are at the work site.

  4. For the last time, you don’t have freedom of speech or rights to protest while your at work!

  5. Man the NFL just can’t get out of their own way. How many more fans and sponsors do you want to lose before reality smacks you upside the head? It’s official the NFL will go the way of NASCAR in about 10 years because of incompetent management who think they constantly need to tweak things and don’t understand their customer base.

  6. The right to protest!? LOL! Every worker does, and just like every other worker, the right to be fired as well by intelligent business owners. Continue to politicize the game, and you and your owners pie will continue to shrink.

  7. Players should have the right to protest but not on the NFL’s dime. No one reading this could make similar protests at their place of employment. These players make adequate money that can afford an ad or even easier have press access that will get the ear of those interested.

  8. “The anthem controversy had been dormant for months, but it returned on Monday, via a report from the Houston Chronicle suggesting that the Texans won’t be interested in free agents who were involved in protests.”

    Isn’t it up to the team who they hire or don’t hire? If they don’t want to sign free agents who were involved in protests, that is completely within their right.

  9. No. They have no “right” to protest. It is a workplace, and an employee can only protest or opine politically with the consent of the employer. If the league wants to let them destroy the entire NFL, so be it, but the league can prohibit political protest if it wants. Personally, I am getting close to zero NFL viewing. Last season I watched less than half the games I normally watch. I can happily take it to zero if they want to make it a contest. Ratings are down, and they will likely continue to drop until the customer gets what he wants.

  10. Keep them in the locker room and remove any opportunity they have to become hack political activists.

  11. They are only hurting their own business. Memo to TV stations. Keep the camera off anyone who is kneeling. ENOUGH!!

  12. That is OK because anything remotely with a position negative of it, is Modded out.
    3 for me so far.. They DONT want a true representation of us.

  13. .

    ” Some believe that the NFL will consider changing the anthem protocol to what it was before players became props in the league’s effort to wrap itself in the flag,”
    .

    .
    In all, the military services reported $53 million in spending on marketing and advertising contracts with sports teams between 2012 and 2015. 
    .

  14. cleepord says: “WHO CARES! They are so oppressed what with all the millions they make.”
    ————————

    – President Woodrow Wilson championed the women’s right to vote in 1918.
    – Susan B. Anthony pushed for equal rights for women and African-Americans.
    – Abraham Lincoln pushed through Emancipation Proclamation to free slaves.

    All Americans should protect and fight for each other. Why should it matter how much an American makes that he cannot champion a righteous cause to better his fellow Americans?

  15. When in the world is America going to get a backbone again and get in a ‘protesting’ player’s face and tell him like a drill Sargent that he damn well IS disrespecting the flag. No matter how many times they think they can tell us they’re not, THEY ARE!!!

  16. having the players come out after the anthem would be an excellent way to put this controversy to bed
    not only is it dividing the country, it probably divides the locker room
    we know there is a lot wrong in America today, hate, racism, inequality, poverty
    When we watch football we want to forget about real life, we want to believe
    Football players do amazing things in the community, they give far more than any of us average Joe’s do
    Working to help improve America, bringing forth issues that need to be dealt with, these individuals need to be admired for it,
    but allow us the 3 or 4 hours to forget about how bad things have gotten, we all know things needs to get better and hopefully we can work on that after the game
    The message was lost when it became political, it was time to take a stand for change

  17. Players have the right to protest until the next CBA when they trade that for money.

  18. They have a “right” to protest and I have a “right” to watch about 20% of the NFL football that I used to watch for the season…….

  19. They do NOT want to call protesting a right. If the NFL and/or NFLPA wants to openly sanction a position and allow their players to represent that position then fine. But those trying to get this established as a right are not thinking it through. They are only thinking of their protest. But they are not considering that if it gets established a right then it can be any protest. Which can then include ones they do not like.

  20. There is a solution to this anthem nonsense. Just get rid of the playing of the anthem before any and all sporting event. It’s an anachronism and a distraction from the reason everyone is there, to watch a game. 99.9% of the fans in the stands don’t care about it. They just stand there fidgeting, eating, drinking, picking their noses, whatever, just to get through the next two minutes until the game begins. Get rid of the anthem, get to the game, and be done with it.

    Go ahead, you anthem worshipers, downvote me. I’m right, and I don’t care what you think.

  21. So imagine after they set this as being the rules that players have this right some player decides to pop a nazi salute during the anthem. I personally would want the guy run off the field, preferably before that game even. But according to what these guys have established that would not be a violation of anything, simply a player exercising his right to express his views. Thats why I think they need to step back from their current approach. Instead have the NFL take a stand that they support BLM and are doing something league sanctioned for that support similar to what they were doing for womens breast cancer. By handling it that way they retain control over what can and cant be protested at their games. It takes a little more courage than the NFL is showing, they would have to say that BLM is their view rather than just saying its someone else’s view and they are simply allowing their rights. But really its a better arrangement.

  22. Media recycled issue. The NFL already worked out a deal with the implied idea that players would stand and the NFL would take a more active role in helping social causes. It was the best route to help both causes and eliminate the negative publicity for both sides.

    Or did the media just happen to forget that this happened?

  23. 34bo34 says:
    March 6, 2018 at 6:52 pm
    For the last time, you don’t have freedom of speech or rights to protest while your at work!
    ———

    That is patently false.

  24. akira554 says:
    All Americans should protect and fight for each other. Why should it matter how much an American makes that he cannot champion a righteous cause to better his fellow Americans?
    —————-
    Call us when their false narrative becomes righteous…

  25. daysend564 says:
    March 7, 2018 at 11:19 am
    akira554 says:
    All Americans should protect and fight for each other. Why should it matter how much an American makes that he cannot champion a righteous cause to better his fellow Americans?
    —————-
    Call us when their false narrative becomes righteous…
    ——-

    FALSE NARRATIVE?

    Someone pass me a needle to burst the bubble that this guy lives in.

  26. Yikes, the Oscars, ESPN, and CNN think the NFL has a declining viewership problem. This isn’t going to help.

  27. The NFLPA calls these disrespectful actions a “right” to protest. These are not rights for private company employees. Godell has bestowed a privilege onto the NFLPA. He has given them the opportunity to either act respectfully or not. This issue is only one of many killing NFL following. Will somebody pleasae list the objectives of these protesters. Please define social justice!

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