The NFL claimed that its owners unanimously voted to adopt a new anthem policy. And, as it turns out, the vote wasn’t unanimous. Also, there wasn’t a vote.
After ESPN’s Seth Wickersham reported that no actual vote was taken, the NFL admitted that, indeed, no formal vote was taken. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told ESPN that the league called for a show of hands to test support for the revised anthem policy.
“That was considered a vote,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said. He added that this unofficial process is “often used.”
Still, with at least two owners abstaining (49ers CEO Jed York and Raiders owner Mark Davis) and at least one other owner (Jets CEO Christopher Johnson) apparently willing to defy the NFL’s no-protest position and treat the ensuing fines like parking tickets without punishing any protesting players, it wasn’t really unanimous. Even though the NFL said it was.
Unanimous or not, the external consensus seems to be that the NFL managed to take a bad situation that had assumed a fairly low profile and both make it worse and give it a much higher profile. Which means that, at a time the league surely wishes this one was over, it’s far from it.