Question: When is a unanimous vote not unanimous?
Answer: When there’s no vote at all.
No, this isn’t a Matrix-style exercise in whether or not there is a spoon. (Then again maybe it is.) It’s an example of the kind of casual white-lying that has somehow become accepted as appropriate, as long as helps achieve a specific strategic goal.
Seth Wickersham of ESPN.com reports that the supposedly unanimous vote on the new anthem policy wasn’t unanimous after all because there wasn’t a vote.
“[T]here was no official vote for the anthem resolution,” Wickersham said on Twitter. “League execs polled owners and knew how they’d vote but didn’t hold an official vote, atypical for such a major resolution.”
Wickersham also reports that Raiders owner Mark Davis abstained from the non-vote vote, in the same way 49ers CEO Jed York did. Given Jets CEO Christopher Johnson’s aggressive position on the issue (he said he’ll pay the fines imposed by the league if players protest during the anthem, but that he won’t fine or discipline the protesting players), it’s fair to wonder whether he also abstained from the non-vote vote. Or whether he non-vote voted no in the non-vote vote.
Regardless, there was no unanimity. There was no vote. And this becomes further proof that, in its quest to make things better when it comes to the national anthem, the NFL actually made things worse.