DeMaurice Smith: Anthem rule is about exerting control over players

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NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith says the league’s owners are less interested in showing respect for America than in showing they can control their employees with the new rule requiring players who are on the field for the national anthem to stand.

“It smacks as more of a desire to exert control rather than a desire to stand up and support the rights and freedoms that our country was founded on,” Smith said in an appearance on ESPN.

Smith also noted that some owners, including 49ers owner Jed York, Raiders owner Mark Davis and Jets owner Christopher Johnson, have made statements suggesting they don’t support the new rule. And he also said he wants to support the free speech of a player like Steelers left tackle Alejandro Villanueva, a military veteran who defied coach Mike Tomlin last year by standing and saluting during the anthem while Tomlin kept the rest of the team in the locker room.

“It doesn’t appear to have the full support of all of the CEOs who own teams,” Smith said. “It punishes not only players who wish to protest but also could punish players who want to come out and stand and salute the flag.”

Whether the NFLPA has the ability to fight and change the new policy remains to be seen. But there’s no question that the union is not happy with having this rule forced upon its membership.

171 responses to “DeMaurice Smith: Anthem rule is about exerting control over players

  1. That is correct. The smartest thing every single player and draft pick coming into the league right now, can do, is to live frugally and save your pennies so when you get locked out in 2021, you have some kind of leverage to work from, so this does not happene again.

    The owners are wildly out of control with greed, cheating and using Goodell to cheat, and stuff like this, all in the name of international expansion.

    This is why Goodell cheats the Pats, makes up scandals, while ignoring outright cheating by the protected teams.

    Everything is done with a goal or agenda in mind, and they literally do not care how bad all of it looks.

    That’s how far gone they all are. They did it to themselves. Expect another ratings drop this year.

    Diehard fans are leaving in droves, so sick and tired of trying to peacefully get through a season with no drama. It just isn’t happening and it is killing the sport.

  2. Um, no Mr. Smith, the Anthem policy is about making sure the NFL maximizes its profitability. The owners and the commissioner have come to the painfully obvious realization that these protests are hurting their profits. By the way, that also carries negative consequences for player salaries.

    One more thing for all you SJWs out there to consider: most Americans (95%+), are not able to use their status as an employee of whomever they work for as a platform for pushing social and political causes. If these players spent their time promoting their causes outside of game day, there would have been no backlash, and hence no policy. You need to remember who your audience is.

  3. actually the NFL isnt showing they can control the employees. the NFL is fining the teams, not the players, and left what is done after that up to the team. So it’s up to the teams on what they do with their employees.

  4. ““It smacks as more of a desire to exert control rather than a desire to stand up and support the rights and freedoms that our country was founded on,” Smith said in an appearance on ESPN.”

    ——————————————————————–

    Well…yeah. When a player is on the field, he is on the employment clock of the team who is paying him. This idea that these players can do whatever they want on their employer’s dime is a joke. What’s next? Coaches not being able to chew out players who screw up because thats trying to “exert control over them”?

    Players can protest and speak their mind at their leisure on their own time. When they are on their employer’s time, they do what they are told. That’s how the real world works.

  5. So what? These are significantly overpaid employees who play in military style game that is all about control. What’s a little more going to hurt?

  6. Few things…The owners and the NFL brass are obviously not familiar the proverb…let sleeping dogs lie, week 17 there were about 7 players that took a knee.

    Also please explain to me how not allowing players to protest is blocking free speech and banning social media use during the game and 90 minutes before and after is not…

  7. It’s called not driving away your customers. ITS A BUSINESS first and foremost..

    DIVIDE and CONQUER….. smh

  8. Just like the Houston Texans owner said (in paraphrase): “Prisoner containment”
    But this is America whose Constitution is supposed to uphold and honor Freedom of Speech (e.g., Peaceful Protest).

    And Donald Trump — he who never served in our military — for the love of God, just shut up already!

  9. Yep. It’s a rule. We all follow them…unless your a democrat politician, then you can get away with anything, even murder (Ted Kennedy)…

  10. Mr. Smith. Just stop already… really… stop.

    The fans have spoken. They are the majority.

    They want football minus politics and platforms.

    Football is the ‘escape’ of the average NFL fan.

    If you drive off the fans, there will be no money for your players.

    This is so simple, it’s practically stupid.

    (Now I’ll be labeled a ‘racist’ for my comments, because this is the “New America.”)

  11. it’s about control, censorship and military propaganda. funny how the same people that support this garbage hate dictators like the clown in North Korea. yet they are totally 100% on board when their own people pull this garbage. this is as unAmerican as it gets.

  12. Talk about a guy willing to kill the golden goose. They got no idea how good they’ve got it and how quick the NFL will fall of this thing keeps becoming a division line between the fans and the game we once loved.

  13. Alejandro Villanueva, a military veteran who defied coach Mike Tomlin last year by standing and saluting during the anthem while Tomlin kept the rest of the team in the locker room.
    —————————————

    He was using his freedom of speech to express his pride and love for his country. He wasn’t saluting he stood there with his hand over his heart with his fellow Americans and showed everyone what kind of cowardly chump Mike Tomlin is.

  14. fwippel says:
    May 25, 2018 at 11:40 am
    Um, no Mr. Smith, the Anthem policy is about making sure the NFL maximizes its profitability. The owners and the commissioner have come to the painfully obvious realization that these protests are hurting their profits. By the way, that also carries negative consequences for player salaries.

    One more thing for all you SJWs out there to consider: most Americans (95%+), are not able to use their status as an employee of whomever they work for as a platform for pushing social and political causes. If these players spent their time promoting their causes outside of game day, there would have been no backlash, and hence no policy. You need to remember who your audience is.

    ————————

    That may be true, but it doesn’t change Smith’s accurate statement of exerting control over the union.

    I find it fascinating how Goodell moves the goalposts over and over and over, and can’t figure out why the ratings are dropping left and right, while the other 3 major sports leagues have none of these issues.

    There is a clear lack of trust here, and that’s rooted in with the owners and their unbelievable greed and arrogance.

    MLB, the NBA, the NHL, none of these leagues are led by inconsistency or entitlement like the NFL is.

    If the NFL simply made a statement and acknowledged the kneeling the last 2 years has served it s purpose and got everyone’s attention, announcing some kind of a community funded outreach program funded by the owners, that would probably be enough to appease the outspoken kneelers.

    That’s the problem, though. The owners are greedy, lazy and don’t care about anything other than being greedy, entitled, telling Goodell to do what they want, when they want, regardless of how it looks.

    It’s highly ironic a commissioner so concerned about image and perception, makes decisions that reflect nothing of the sort.

    All you little right wing types who want to talk a tough guy game simply don’t get what a CBA means, which is what Judge Doty said to Goodell in his court, along with Judge Berman during Framgetate II.

    All these things reflect a one way street, littered with arrogance, entitled and belligerence.

    It’s disgusting, regardless of how you feel about a few guys kneeling during an anthem.

  15. Hahaha! You guys are DYING over the fact that the NFL ‘exerts control’.
    EVERY work place has a certain amount of CONTROL over their employees.
    Just try saying something against liberals or for conservative.
    Mention something pro-Trump.
    You’ll figure it out. But wait…
    You’d NEVER do that.

  16. Dumb as a post. In prohibiting political protest, they are exercising any more control over the players than any other employer protecting the business interests of the organization. Amazing the level of stupidity.

  17. Employers trying to control the behavior of their employees when they show up for work?

    How ridiculous!!!

    Anthem policy should be the same as every other workplace policy with every other employer in America. You stand where we tell you to stand and do what we tell you to do WHILE YOU ARE AT WORK or you go work somewhere else.

    But I guess if I made millions playing with a little leather ball I’d think I was special, too.

  18. Those who want to stand for the flag can continue to do so. Those who don’t now have the option to stay in the locker room. It’s a win/win. When it comes to those who stay in the locker room, don’t be surprised when the boo birds come out!

  19. It’s hard to respect a guys who literally is in the owners pockets…He’s not a union leader, he’s a paid mouthpiece. How about the elimination of having your constituents not being tagged for 2 years? Or getting released because of an injury? He is a fraud, and what he says is just to pacify the idiots that voted him as their leader. He couldn’t negotiate himself out of a paper bag.

  20. If they NFL really wanted to crack down on this they’d start taking away teams draft picks that didn’t comply with this rule.

  21. “It smacks as more of a desire to exert control rather than a desire to stand up and support the rights and freedoms that our country was founded on,”

    It’s neither.

    It is only about catering to a fan base that started to walk away last year. As much as these loons want to make it about some other fantasy-land issue, it’s not. It’s pretty simple and highly, overwhelmingly evident.

    “It punishes not only players who wish to protest but also could punish players who want to come out and stand and salute the flag”

    What? How? This guy is either an Alinskyite reality twister, or to quote the eloquent wordsmith Doug Baldwin, an idiot.

  22. One narrative that has to stop…..any normal Joe can’t protest at their place of work.

    Your work doesn’t play the national anthem every day or the pledge of allegiance. And it would be your right to not stand if you so wish.

  23. This is why Goodell cheats the Pats, makes up scandals, while ignoring outright cheating by the protected teams.

    Clearly you watch too much Fox News and are adopting their conspiracy dogma…..just road kill on the intellectual highway.

  24. Mr. Smith, have your players strike or sit out. Once they miss a paycheck or two, you’ll find out just how important this issue REALLY is to your base.

  25. Riley Coopers free speech was roundly criticized. So we can pick and choose which speech is more equal than others? The hypocrisy on free speech is unbelievable.

  26. According to RealGM Wiretap, 70% of NFL players are African American, and the fanbase is 83% white–and 64% male.
    This partly explains why people are so divided over the kneeling issue if you only consider these demographics.
    But “the NFL” as an entity which relies on fans for revenue is in a position to have a very definite positive impact in communities across the country for fans AND non-fans.
    Judging by a lot of the reaction to this latest news it appears that once again, they had an excellent opportunity–but they “dropped the ball”.

  27. This is an employer/employee issue, no different than where I work. If one owner allows the kneeling protesters, that’s his right as an owner. If another wants to fire a player, go ahead. If the players don’t like it, get another job. It should not be up to the NFL, and sure as hell not up to Comrade Trump.

    Each team owner calls it as he sees it. It’s his team.

  28. You guys sure are whiny about this issue. It’s over. Stop pouting about it.

    You are very, very naive if you think the latest rule change ended anything.

    Secondly, for everyone saying “I CAN’T DO THINGS AT MY JOB MY BOSS DON’T LIKE!” — how many of you are forced to stand for a silly, jingoistic song at your jobs in order to boost military recruitment? None? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

  29. If I own a private business, I get to set the rules of conduct for empoloyees. There is NO first amendment freedom of speech in the private sector. If you don’t like the rules, you can quit. If you violate the rules, I can discipline you. End of report. End of story. Let’s move on and talk football.

  30. Regardless of what side people are on, you’re naive if you think the attention isn’t exactly what the NFL wants. Just how there’s always major “breaking” stories right before season begins (i.e. Ray Rice, Tom Brady’s deflategate suspension, etc).

  31. Actually no it isn’t.

    It is about showing the players that they can’t just exert control of the game, the league, and the owners. The players decided to interject into someone else’s area, not the owners. The players decided to protest during the work hours, they didn’t consult with the owners. That is on them.

    The owners are just taking that back. People need to take the proper perspective. Right or wrong the players started doing something at work without thinking that the owners / customers may not approve. That is their right. It is also the right of the customers / owners not to like it. It is also the right of the owners to make rules to stop the behavior if they don’t like it.

    Nobody likes being told no, however this is just the players throwing a tantrum. Nothing more.

  32. The internet has radically exposed the number of bootlickers in this country. They are all over PFT.

  33. gregerss says:

    May 25, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    Regardless of what side people are on, you’re naive if you think the attention isn’t exactly what the NFL wants. Just how there’s always major “breaking” stories right before season begins (i.e. Ray Rice, Tom Brady’s deflategate suspension, etc).
    ——————
    Couldn’t have said it any better!

  34. I hope none of you guys have to fight for promotions or things of that nature at your day jobs. Your obsession with pandering to everything your employer does and says is telling. Maybe that’s why you’ve never moved up the corporate ladder.

  35. Um, yeah… so?

    There are a lot of rules through which the NFL (the employer) exerts control over players (the employees). There are curfews, mandatory interview sessions, rules about uniforms, and all sorts of other conduct rules.

    What’s your point?

  36. Does your employer require you to stand at attention for the national anthem before work?

    Didn’t think so.

    ———————————–

    Does your employer play the national anthem before work?

    Didn’t think so.

    But I’ll tell you what — if they did play it before I started my workday, I would stand for it without reservation.

    And if I ever had any questions about whether I should be standing, the office full of current and former Marines I work with, would answer them in short order….as they should.

  37. Are there any laws being broken by not standing for the National Anthem and what about all the camera men and women that are scrambling around on the ground taking videos during the Anthem? I guess their exempt because that’s their job.

  38. When I was in kindergarten, standing for the anthem was not optional. Was it about exerting power over helpless kids?

    Are you picturing a smoke-filled back room full of white guys smirking about how they are “gonna show those guys who is boss?” It’s more like this: owners are presented with market surveys showing the affect of not standing for the anthem on viewership. Owners see a negative effect, and want to reverse it. Owners are advised by their lawyers that HR law allows them to force players to stand for the anthem. Owners vote for this as a solution to the viewership issue. Move on.

  39. wallabear says:

    May 25, 2018 at 11:43 am

    Just like the Houston Texans owner said (in paraphrase): “Prisoner containment”
    But this is America whose Constitution is supposed to uphold and honor Freedom of Speech (e.g., Peaceful Protest).

    And Donald Trump — he who never served in our military — for the love of God, just shut up already!
    —————————-

    first of all you can’t just completely misinterpret a quote and call it “paraphrasing”

    Secondly – quick – name the last president that did serve in the military, certainly wasn’t the previous SJW in Chief.

  40. Geez…every thing every person deals with every day is an exercise in control…why do you think employers pay you well after you’ve done your work? Why does credit exist? Why does everything that used to be a simple cash transaction now require a hefty amount of personal information?

    And on and on and on. Welcome to humanity, Mr. Smith. Please leave your email, your home phone, your work phone, address, bank statement, credit report, and emergency contact, and we can respond to your concerns within 7-10 business days

  41. DeMaurice Smith: Anthem rule is about exerting control over players

    In other words, the mind of a slavemasta!!

  42. The NFL has the most tone deaf leadership of any league by far. It’s like they’re trying to alienate every single fan whether it’s due to rule changes on the field or ridiculous rules regarding the national anthem. But we all have a choice about whether we let it drive us away from the game or if we continue to watch it. I’m going to watch and enjoy it.

  43. The smartest thing every single player and draft pick coming into the league right now, can do, is to live frugally and save your pennies so when you get locked out in 2021, you have some kind of leverage to work from, so this does not happen again.

    —————————-

    Yeah — this will happen.

    Actually, I hope it does.

    I want to see how much conviction the players actually have about this cause.

  44. Network stop coverage until kick off, what happens in front of the hometown well who cares. Play football, protest on your own time.

  45. It is less about control and more about fear of our current president/wannabe king continuing to walk the fine line of illegally interferring with business. The anthem issue wasnt an issue until he made it an issue. No verifiable evidence exists that suggests decrease viewship is related to kneeling. Horrible officiating, rules making it a sport other thab football, and up until last year the same boring teams in the playoffs decreased viewership

  46. Smith said: “showing they can control their employees ”

    ———————————————————–

    Wow, look at that, after a lifetime of only hearing nothing but the word “yes”, they have been given a dose of what everyday Americans get every working day. Hey cupcakes, you have optuions, show how really righteous you are and “drag up” on your employers. Teach those employers a lesson……..

    I double dare ya…….

  47. youngnoizecom says:
    May 25, 2018 at 12:11 pm
    I hope none of you guys have to fight for promotions or things of that nature at your day jobs. Your obsession with pandering to everything your employer does and says is telling. Maybe that’s why you’ve never moved up the corporate ladder.

    ——-

    I am a VP at a huge tech company. I moved up by always keeping my company’s and its customers’ best interests in kind….even placing them above my own. These players seem to think their interests are more relevant than the teams’.

  48. People are so basic; everyone is calling the NFL a platform. Anyone recall this being a business and a JOB?! If I went in my office and knelt during meetings or something similar, at best I would get odd looks and at worst, I’m fired. Quit being so entitled players! You are swimming in money, and money can buy you any platform you want! Stop using the NFL for anything but football, and do your cause, enabled by your pay, on your own time! I honestly don’t care about you or your beliefs and it’s crystal clear you feel the same about me and mine. Who are you to try to change my mind? Just because you can run fast, hit a guy, or throw a ball far? That hardly qualifies you to inform the masses, build a relevant platform you EARN, and then we’ll talk.

  49. It is about both things, controlling the players and money.

    The fact that the NFL Commissioner sold out to Trump and the alt right will mean that history does not remember him well.

    And rightly so

  50. If your employer wants you to work, but you insist on protesting on the employer’s time AND workplace, why shouldn’t you get fired?
    If you don’t like it, QUIT, because there are tens of thousand of other players who want your contract and roster spot.

  51. The anthem rule is about Money, plain and simple. They lost viewers when players started kneeling. They are afraid the snowball could get bigger if they don’t do something. I personally wish they had handled it like the NBA did.

  52. Ok enough!!!!

    Anyone claiming that the anthem issue was hurting revenue please educate yourself on the latest Thursday night football deal $$$$$

    And who paid this ridiculous sum? That’s right Fox!!!

    So please stop with the argument that this anthem issue is hurting the league… Pushed by Fox News!!

  53. the17thearlofoxford says:
    May 25, 2018 at 11:53 am
    “Get politics out of the NFL

    No more National Anthem.

    Problem solved.”

    ———————————————————-

    Just as the “Open Boarders” Globalist elites would love to see happen.

    Victim of Social Engineering and Propaganda much?

  54. I was planning on calling directv a few days before the season to get reconnected so I could willing hand over my money to watch the 12 or so games that won’t be televised locally.

    I will continue to watch at a bar but the NFL has lost me as a paying customer.

    These guys need to rethink their strategies on both sides…maybe fight it out behind closed doors…players want a bigger piece of the pie and owners want a bigger market share. The diehard is safe but this can’t help attract new and keep fringe fans.

  55. When they are not working as an EMPLOYEE, they can kneel, protest and hate America all they want

  56. The democratic party is now on life support. Keep Backing anti-American positions

  57. peytonwantsaflag says:
    May 25, 2018 at 12:16 pm

    wallabear says:

    May 25, 2018 at 11:43 am

    Just like the Houston Texans owner said (in paraphrase): “Prisoner containment”
    But this is America whose Constitution is supposed to uphold and honor Freedom of Speech (e.g., Peaceful Protest).

    And Donald Trump — he who never served in our military — for the love of God, just shut up already!
    —————————-

    first of all you can’t just completely misinterpret a quote and call it “paraphrasing”

    Secondly – quick – name the last president that did serve in the military, certainly wasn’t the previous SJW in Chief.
    —————–
    Better yet, name the last Democrat who served in the military. Let me help, it was Jimmy Carter(1972-1976). Every Republican since WWI, with exception being Trump, has served. Obama was too busy, Clinton milked his student deferment by remaining in Great Britain.

  58. This is about workplace rules. Everyone is making this out to be about keeping the players down, and about black and white. Come on they are a bunch of spoiled millionaires stomping their feet because they are not allowed to do what they want to do. Grow up! My employer requires me to dress nice for work ever day because the customers don’t want to see me in shorts and a t-shirt. The majority NFL CUSTOMERS don’t want to see people kneeling during the National Anthem so they all have to stand.

  59. Nice try Smith. The combined networks of ESPN, NBC , Fox, CBS etc…failed to make budgets and lost over 600 million on the NFL last season. That is why the rule exists.

  60. Welcome to the real world where everyone who works for a living knows that their employer does have control over their employees. They dictate when you get up in the morning and when you can go home, and just about everything in between.

  61. Here’s the thing. If you are going to talk about how conservatives are being censored by social media sites you need to be on the side of the players here too. Free speech is under attack by government overreach on both sides of the aisle that should concern everyone.

  62. “The anthem rule is about Money, plain and simple. They lost viewers when players started kneeling. They are afraid the snowball could get bigger if they don’t do something. I personally wish they had handled it like the NBA did.”

    the networks pay the NFL…like a sleazy reality tv show…the more drama the better.

  63. Liberalsruineverything says:
    May 25, 2018 at 11:50 am
    Alejandro Villanueva, a military veteran who defied coach Mike Tomlin last year by standing and saluting during the anthem while Tomlin kept the rest of the team in the locker room.
    —————————————

    He was using his freedom of speech to express his pride and love for his country. He wasn’t saluting he stood there with his hand over his heart with his fellow Americans and showed everyone what kind of cowardly chump Mike Tomlin is.
    ———————-
    So Villanueva can exercise his free speech right but the other players can’t sim ply because you don’t agree with them. Standing for the flag is speech as is kneeling. And as for workplace rules the difference is in the NFL rules have to be collectively bargained for unlike your job if you’re not part of a union.

    Why don’t the players protest someplace else? That’s the whole point of protest to make someone uncomfortable enough so they take notice.

  64. I for one thing have always loved the NFL and still do, having said that I will never pay to go to a game nor buy any merchandise ever again. These players have it very good and constantly complain. NBA has handled this way better than the NFL. We only care for they do on the field and off was it when it’s for good causes. Complaining about standing for the flag is petty and has turned me off and many others.

  65. The place where everyone is treated fairly and the same is called Utopia. It does not exist. It never will.

    Kaepernick was a pouty joke, but his pout led to some forward momentum when real men took up the cause of social justice (I am talking about guys like Jenkins and Long, not clowns like ‘No-Kaep-No-Peace Reid’ or ‘Rush-Card Marshall’)

    Kneeling for awareness at this point is just pathetic look-at-me spam. We are all already aware.

    All police should have the right to protect themselves while also having accountability. They all need body cams and microphones while on duty so the suspects and police can be treated based on the facts. We don’t need spoiled rich athletes kneeling at us to know this.

  66. This isn’t about exerting power over the players, its about the owners trying to save the league from itself – by shutting down players who are trying to politicize the playing of our National Anthem.

    It would be nice if they got back to playing football and stop with trying to be spokespeople for social justice. It’s laughable

  67. meridious says:
    May 25, 2018 at 12:02 pm
    Does your employer require you to stand at attention for the national anthem before work?

    Didn’t think so.
    —————
    Dumbest post of the Day…If your employer DID play it and required you to stand for it, you would or you’d be fired…yesh think man think!!

  68. Thank you for reminding me about the Steelers deciding to freely stay in the locker room as a form of protest. Now that the NFL has said that is an option for you if you want to protest, its a horrible idea. Think about it.

  69. I love football. I love seeing individuals excel and I love seeing an entire team come together and become more than the sum of its parts. It’s exciting and inspiring.

    I loathe piggybacking forced patriotism on players and fans or anyone else. You can live in this country and vehemently disagree with many of its policies.

    I get the connection between football and the military. Many of their principles and virtues are shared. But at the end of the day football is just a game. Lives are rarely at stake. Well-being, yes. Lives, no.

    Meaningful protest has always required sacrifice. Players choosing to protest intrinsic law enforcement inequality makes perfect sense to me. I’m not black, so I can at best vaguely understand the indignities borne by those who are, but most NFL players are. I would want to stand up and advocate for my family too. Yet it is critical to realize that politics and entertainment are increasingly intertwined. Huge salaries sometimes require equally huge concessions. If one’s conscience dictates protest then one must be willing to bear the backlash.

    Military parades and spectacles seek to elicit mass support for its policies and objectives. The fact that I disagree with many of our military’s objectives does not make me any less of a patriotic American.

  70. “I for one thing have always loved the NFL and still do, having said that I will never pay to go to a game nor buy any merchandise ever again. These players have it very good and constantly complain. NBA has handled this way better than the NFL. We only care for they do on the field and off was it when it’s for good causes. Complaining about standing for the flag is petty and has turned me off and many others.”

    what the flag may represent to you, may have a totally different meaning to someone else. Why can’t your respect that?

  71. It’s about catering to Trump who found a wedge issue with hints of racism he thinks he can exploit for political gain. Trump, who sought five draft deferments to avoid service, is about as a patriotic as my Labrador Retriever.

  72. Welcome to the real world Smith. If I go into my job and start protesting on company time and company headquarters, Im gone. Do you get that? If you hate America and the job you have, please leave yesterday.

  73. I think all players should be told to stay in the locker room unless they truly want to be on the field for the National Anthem.

    And if they choose to honor the flag, then they should stand on the sideline, helmet under the left arm and right hand over their heart for the duration of the anthem.

    If not, then keep your yourself away from those in the stadium who choose to honor America

  74. I grew for once. All the rules; from OTAs to offsides to Cap Space are controls put in place to run a successful league. Okay, let’s move on

  75. Over paid. Pampered puppies. Two things that come to mind when I see or read when a professional football player opens their “god given right” mouths. There is a reason the country has a flag and anthem. It is not a place for ANY individual to make for their own personal platform. Men fought and died under that flag so YOU can have your rights. But, your common sense does not allow you to be respectful towards it. SHAME SHAME on you!!!!!!!

  76. How about NFL players talk to some of the NBA players and figure out some way to make their point(s) in other ways and stop playing victim mentality. No other professional sport has this issue, so maybe it’s the NFL players that need to take a look around.

  77. Smith is correct and he could say that about every single rule the NFL administers. All rules done by the NFL are meant to control their branding and in some cases behavior. Kapernick can wear pigs are cops socks and just get fined and talk about the great health care in Cuba and not get fined, but if he criticized an offical. Fine! Bottom line here is that the NFL ratings have gone down for 2 years and the owners see that. This is is a losing issue for the players. Constitutionally you’re not required to stand but your employer has every right to make you stand or you get fined. The NBA has had this same policy for over 20 years and their has been no crying about it.

  78. During the off season how many of these kneeling patriots have done anything for their cause? Very few. This is a protest of convenience by these players. If you want to protest then by all means please do it on your time, not my football time. The owners experienced the backlash from the fans this year in lower attendance and concession sales. It will be interesting to see how many people sold their tickets. The players have iron clad contracts, they’ll get their $$ regardless.

  79. employers wanting control over the behavior of the employees? especially when it comes to effecting profits? say it isn’t so!

  80. In return for asking the players to do as they ask the players are requiring they be paid salaries in the millions. If that is being called ‘exerting control’ then it begets the question who is exerting what control over who?

  81. getout1 says:
    May 25, 2018 at 12:48 pm
    meridious says:
    May 25, 2018 at 12:02 pm
    Does your employer require you to stand at attention for the national anthem before work?

    Didn’t think so.
    —————
    Dumbest post of the Day…If your employer DID play it and required you to stand for it, you would or you’d be fired…yesh think man think!!

    —————
    There are other things I dont like that I am still required to do. Wear a tie. Keep certain hours. But they are not putting a gun to my head, they are not saying I cant refuse to do those things, they are simply saying I will only be rewarded if I do.

  82. This is all about the owners just wanting their viewership back. They don’t care either way about the issue really. If you read the new rule, they allow you to stay in the locker room meaning the owners are trying to walk a tight rope with this situation.

    Work is not the place to protest. If players want to protest, then why can’t they use the 6 months that their off of work to do it?

  83. Good luck with that argument. These are employees we’re talking about. My company sets certain expectations for my behavior and exercises some control over me as well. I can promise you I make far less than these players do. That’s the way it goes. You don’t like it? You are always welcome to work somewhere else. You wont because you like the pay, but no one is forcing you to do this job.

  84. meridious says:
    May 25, 2018 at 12:02 pm
    Does your employer require you to stand at attention for the national anthem before work?

    Didn’t think so.
    —————
    Dumbest post of the Day…If your employer DID play it and required you to stand for it, you would or you’d be fired…yesh think man think!!

    —————

  85. It’s still just about the Benjamins. Did Maurice not see the ratings and the mostly-empty seats for 3/4 of the season last year?

  86. The Star Spangled Banner is military-centric. Why should this be our national anthem? It should be America the Beautiful. And why do we say it before sporting events? Why not theater productions? Why not movies? Why not before a plane takes off? How about before church on Sunday?

    In other words………why at all?

  87. In a country that fought for freedom from tyranny and arbitrary authoritariansm of an monarch… it is bizzarre to see so many posters (assuming they aren’t for-hire sock puppets) that seem to love tryanny and authoritarianism superceding the rights of individuals.

    Fascism comes to America wearing a flag, waving a bible.

  88. The National Anthem has absolutely nothing to do with sporting events and should not be played at them.

  89. I think the liberal players whatever color are the only ones stupid enough to believe Smith

  90. No it’s not, it’s about ratings and not alienating the majority of the audience.

  91. That’s right Baby! Employers have control over the employees, not the other way around. Get used to it and deal with it.

  92. Their best interests are more relevant than the teams. They’re trying to create an America, where their family members don’t have to live in fear everytime they interact with law enforcement. They’re trying to create a country, where unarmed black people aren’t being murdered by cops who get off scot-free.

  93. “meridious says:
    May 25, 2018 at 12:02 pm
    Does your employer require you to stand at attention for the national anthem before work?

    Didn’t think so.”

    ——————

    If my employer did I would proudly do so.
    If I decided to hold a sign or wear a t-shirt that protested something that may offend a percentage of our customers guess what my employer is going to do or say???

  94. I was fined by the Gov’t because I didn’t buy healthcare from them.

    That’s control.

  95. Like all left-wingers, it’s always about how people REACT to them, not their behavior on its own, that’s the problem.

    No, no, the problem isn’t people bringing social and race issues into an apolitical game (football). No, the problem is with how people react to them bringing social and race issues up.

    So tired of this.

  96. “youngnoizecom says:
    May 25, 2018 at 12:11 pm
    I hope none of you guys have to fight for promotions or things of that nature at your day jobs. Your obsession with pandering to everything your employer does and says is telling. Maybe that’s why you’ve never moved up the corporate ladder.”

    ———————

    We don’t pander to our employers. If we don’t like what our employer says or does then we look for another job. It’s that simple. The NFL players can do that if they are so passionate about the issues they want to protest against. But they won’t.

  97. This is not about politics, it’s about basic human rights. Whether you’re liberal or conservative, you should be informed about the atrocities that go on in our country.

  98. Like any workplace, the NFL is full of rules governing behavior. This is simply a rule that is pro-American and designed not to offend a huge majority of the paying customers of the NFL.

  99. To an extent, yes. To a greater extent, it’s about placating a lot of irrational, narrow-minded people around the country who have very small views about what constitutes love of country, very specific views on what other people’s behavior means, and are highly sensitive and defensive about both of those things. A type that, unfortunately, makes up a meaningful portion of the NFL’s fan base.

  100. If the players don’t want to follow their boss’s order then they can quit. The players have zero rights to protest at work. They don’t have rights to hijack their boss’s TV forum, they can do it on social media and elsewhere. They can get together and buy TV time and voice their protests on air if they want. Maurice is the biggest liar out there. The NFL should just kick off before the players come out.

  101. What is it about “DO IT ON YOUR OWN DAM TIME” that NOBODY can understand??

    This has been the most DENSE, THICKEST “debate”/discussion I’ve EVER seen in my life.

  102. Typical union response. They get paid millions but don’t want to do what they are told and then the union backs them because it’s their bread and butter. Outdated!

  103. Isn’t that what an employer typically does is control their employees? I think i’ll let my boss know i’m not a fan of the hours he makes me work and ask him what he thinks he’s going to do about it since he can’t control me.

  104. kevpft says:
    May 25, 2018 at 2:43 pm
    To an extent, yes. To a greater extent, it’s about placating a lot of irrational, narrow-minded people around the country who have very small views about what constitutes love of country, very specific views on what other people’s behavior means, and are highly sensitive and defensive about both of those things….
    ______________________________

    …..in YOUR opinion. But you type it with such authority, a lot of people might come to the erroneous conclusion that you know what you’re talking about. Funny how that works.

  105. youngnoizecom says:
    May 25, 2018 at 2:35 pm
    This is not about politics, it’s about basic human rights. Whether you’re liberal or conservative, you should be informed about the atrocities that go on in our country
    __________________________________________

    So in your opinion, kneeling in a blatant display of disrespect for the country that gave you everything you have – and the people who have fought and died to protect you – constitutes providing a fair and balanced newscast for those watching the game, is that correct?

  106. Its funny how some people here are calling the NFL tone deaf when it is clear that the majority of the fan base opposes anthem protests.

  107. I lament what the NFL has become.
    An extremely pale imitation of its former self.

  108. Dear DeMaurice: if your players wish to continue to pull in the multimillion dollar contracts if would behoove them not to tick off the large swaths of people that pay the bill.

  109. bhcpaul1989 says:
    May 25, 2018 at 3:13 pm
    Isn’t that what an employer typically does is control their employees? I think i’ll let my boss know i’m not a fan of the hours he makes me work and ask him what he thinks he’s going to do about it since he can’t control me.
    =====

    If you were in a union, like the players are, you could and would say over what hours you work, when you start, when you finish, how many breaks you get, what your employer’s disciplinary actions towards you can be, if and when he can fire you, how much vacation he has to give you, etc. etc.

    Unions influence every single aspect of the policies of the companies which employ their members.

    So no, employers in fact do NOT have the right to impose whatever rules they want on unionized employees and haven’t for decades.

  110. The anthem rule is about one thing and one thing only – the brand.

    The NFL finally realized that many of their fans are turned off by anti-Americanism. Better to simply end the demonstrations rather than lose millions of viewers who pay the bills. You shove your thumb in their noses enough times and they will never come back.

    The league wants to keep earning money and the player probably should be too, but apparently they don’t have business and marketing courses at Alabama or LSU for athletes.

  111. The players don’t have to stand. They can stay in the locker room like the Steelers did. I’m not sure why there is outrage from a moderate Democrat like me…..

  112. dcspeedway says:
    May 25, 2018 at 1:17 pm
    Over paid. Pampered puppies. Two things that come to mind when I see or read when a professional football player opens their “god given right” mouths. There is a reason the country has a flag and anthem. It is not a place for ANY individual to make for their own personal platform. Men fought and died under that flag so YOU can have your rights. But, your common sense does not allow you to be respectful towards it. SHAME SHAME on you!!!!!!!
    ———–
    Men fought and died so people can have the right to protest. Shame on you for not knowing the true reason U.S. soldiers fight and die. It’s not to pay obedience to a song.

  113. It’s about keeping the value of the team high. The players played in front of empty stadiums last year. A repeat of kneeling & the league can start playing in Division 2 stadiums. It’s about the chee$e.

  114. I used to watch NFL games on the weekend as entertainment… for 50 years.

    Now I watch football for entertainment on Saturdays and I golf on Sundays.

    When the player’s mixed racial politics with the entertainment of NFL football… it was no longer entertaining.

    I’ve discovered NCAA football is actually more entertaining than NFL football and as a matter of principle I’m never returning to NFL football because the owners allowed this disrespect to drag on for wwwaaaaayyyyy to long.

  115. Well you know, the Owners OWN the teams, don’ they ? These players (who get paid real well)
    are employees of those owners. If the owners want them to stand for the National Anthem,
    is it REALLY gonna kill them ? I mean there ARE some GOOD things about this country to be proud of and stand up for and celebrate………aren’t there ? Why focus solely on what’s
    wrong with it all the time ?

    These players grew up in a country that allow them to earn these salaries playing a game.
    Can’t they at least celebrate THAT !?

  116. Sadly, no one remembers that Francis Scott Key wrote a full third stanza decrying the former slaves who were now working for the British army:


    And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
    That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
    A home and a Country should leave us no more?
    Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
    >b>No refuge could save the hireling and slave
    From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

    In other words, Francis Scott Key was saying that the blood of all the former slaves and “hirelings” on the battlefield will wash away the pollution of the British invaders.
    \With Key still bitter that some black soldiers got the best of him a few weeks earlier, “The Star-Spangled Banner” is as much a patriotic song as it is a diss track to black people who had the audacity to fight for their freedom.

  117. wartface says:
    May 25, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    When the player’s mixed racial politics with the entertainment of NFL football… it was no longer entertaining.
    ———
    Couldn’t you just tune in at kickoff? Problem solved.

  118. Smith and the rest of the protest crowd simply do not understand the fundamental issue. The players are employees on the job while at the stadium on game day. The event is not a platform for players. If anything it is a platform for the league/owners/clubs. It is NOT a free speech issue and never has been. If you think it is then you simply have no idea what freedom of speech or the 1st amendment are all about. It is about profit for the league and nothing more. People tried to explain that the league was losing profit the first year but the protest crowd blamed elections. Year two it got worse and the election excuse was gone so they tried to blame cord-cutting instead of the obvious. The league recognizes it finally and are trying to fix the problem without ruffling the feathers of the uninformed pro-protest gladiators. There “solution” would be fine except for the anarchists looking for loopholes to make a point.

    I think they should have taken a different approach. Tie the authorization to play to the player’s decision. Disrespect the flag/country on game day and you are not allowed to play. Choose not to play (by intentionally showing disrespect) and you don’t get paid similar to not showing up to work for non salaried regular Joes. That puts the onus on the players who want to send a message. It gives them a personal stake in the message because it hurts their team and their wallet. The profit loss actually impacting their pay is an abstract concept they don’t bother with addressing. If the league were to allow the protests and the profits dropped to the point that the salary cap drops all the players would cry foul.

  119. The new anthem rule is about $$$. The customers spoke up. Any business that isn’t out to make the customer happy won’t last. Owners didn’t get rich by failing to understand that.

  120. footballpat says:
    May 25, 2018 at 12:46 pm
    Liberalsruineverything says:
    May 25, 2018 at 11:50 am
    Alejandro Villanueva, a military veteran who defied coach Mike Tomlin last year by standing and saluting during the anthem while Tomlin kept the rest of the team in the locker room.
    —————————————

    He was using his freedom of speech to express his pride and love for his country. He wasn’t saluting he stood there with his hand over his heart with his fellow Americans and showed everyone what kind of cowardly chump Mike Tomlin is.
    ———————-
    So Villanueva can exercise his free speech right but the other players can’t sim ply because you don’t agree with them. Standing for the flag is speech as is kneeling. And as for workplace rules the difference is in the NFL rules have to be collectively bargained for unlike your job if you’re not part of a union.

    Why don’t the players protest someplace else? That’s the whole point of protest to make someone uncomfortable enough so they take notice.
    ——————————————

    Standing for the anthem isn’t political, maybe you think is, and it doesn’t piss off 90% of the people that just want to watch football after paying a lot of hard earned money to do it.

  121. tylawspick6 says:
    May 25, 2018 at 11:50 am
    ……All you little right wing types who want to talk a tough guy game simply don’t get what a CBA means, which is what Judge Doty said to Goodell in his court, along with Judge Berman during Framgetate II.

    All these things reflect a one way street, littered with arrogance, entitled and belligerence…………
    ==============================================================================
    Whether you or anyone else likes it or not, the owners are in business to make a profit. Whether you like it or not, watching a bunch of rich millionaire players use game-day (while in their uniforms representing the brand of the owners) to lodge protests against a nation that has helped make them rich turns off most people out here in flyover country. Give Goodell (for once in his tenure) credit for realizing that supporting policies that cost the NFL money is a good way to get yourself fired, regardless of how long your contract is.

    If Kaepernick and his cohorts think America is such a horrible place, why don’t they go make a living elsewhere? Kaepernick apparently thinks Fidel Castro was a great leader, yet we don’t see him leaving the U.S. for Cuba, where Castro’s family still runs things. Before getting so angry at so-called “little right wingers”, you need to grow up and realize that these protests accomplished nothing other than irritating a lot of fans who just want to watch a game. It’s also worth noting that Kaepernick was so concerned about all these problems that he didn’t even bother to vote during the 2016 election.

  122. youngnoizecom says:
    May 25, 2018 at 2:35 pm
    This is not about politics, it’s about basic human rights. Whether you’re liberal or conservative, you should be informed about the atrocities that go on in our country.

    —————————
    Then why the fixation on anthem protesting as being the absolute only way? When someone says “I can only address this on someone elses time and dime I cant spare any of my own time, but its really important” I see a mixed message in that.

  123. This isn’t about players’ rights, this is about keeping the money flowing so the league can continue to be successful. IF the players are so butt-hurt then they can go find another job that pays them millions of dollars and protest all they want. Oh wait, there is no other job that will pay them millions of dollars and they won’t be able to pull this crap on their new employers dime either. See, it’s as simple as that, but apparently the players aren’t bright enough to separate the two.

  124. Will probably watch the Pack when televised but wont waste any more Sundays just watching. Definitely wont be watching any pre/post game opinions. Season hasn’t even started yet and already wearing us out with this crap…

  125. =====
    Then why the fixation on anthem protesting as being the absolute only way? When someone says “I can only address this on someone elses time and dime I cant spare any of my own time, but its really important” I see a mixed message in that.
    =====

    And I’ll take it a step farther: Why is there a fixation on anthem protesting if the protests aren’t about the anthem or flag? Why not more direct and relevant means of protest like picketing police stations (especially if one has an officer suspected of acting illegally) on one’s day off?

    Because kneeling is really a zero effort virtue signalling fad at this point being used to protest literally anything.

  126. The kneeling started in 2016. The NFL made $13 billion that year. In 2017, the kneeling and protests INCREASED, and the NFL made $14 billion. No one’s bottom lines are being affected.

  127. niners816 says:
    May 25, 2018 at 11:38 am
    You guys sure are whiny about this issue. It’s over. Stop pouting about it.
    – – –

    It’s FAAAAAR from done, my friend. I know you wish the players would drop it but that’s not going to happen.

    Roger wants to take away the anthem, fine. Wait until you see some of the touchdown celebrations in 2018. You’re going to WISH they were only kneeling during the anthem….

  128. youngnoizecom says:
    May 25, 2018 at 2:35 pm
    This is not about politics, it’s about basic human rights. Whether you’re liberal or conservative, you should be informed about the atrocities that go on in our country.
    ————————————

    NOBODY is going to inform ME about anything when I am paying to watch a FOOTBALL GAME!!

  129. Daniel M. Petersen says: May 25, 2018 at 11:59 am
    One narrative that has to stop…..any normal Joe can’t protest at their place of work.

    Your work doesn’t play the national anthem every day or the pledge of allegiance. And it would be your right to not stand if you so wish.

    Wouldn’t matter if they played it all day, if your boss wanted you to stand, you’d either stand or walk out the door.

  130. What’s with this employees treating employees like their on a work site – it’s a platform for activism not a for profit enterprise!

  131. I work for a business which has rules. Rules to show up on time. Rules on harassing other employees. Rules for when I can go home. My boss dictates what he wants me to do. If I don’t do these things, I get fired or punished. The NFL is a business. Players are employees. If the NFL says that they want players to stand during the anthem, then they should. If they don’t, the NFL, as a business owner, has the right to dictate punishment. Furthermore, the NFL is NOT telling the players what they can and can’t do the second they walk off the stadium grounds. Protest on your own time, not on the NFL’s time. I am in full agreement with the new policy.

  132. The bumper sticker which was so prevalent in the 1960’s means as much today as it did then:

    AMERICA — LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT

    I wish Colin Kaepernick and DeMaurice Smith would get on a plane and head to the Middle East where they’d fit in more with people who share their dream — to rip the United States apart. They won’t though. Why? Because they know this is the best country in the world and one of the few countries which tolerates empty headed loudmouths like them.

  133. what’s mind boggling to me is they somehow were shortsighted enough to re-sign goodell who let this get out of control. goodell is toxic. how can these billionaires be too stupid to realize the obvious?

  134. I suppose these guys really don’t understand just how stupid they sound. Of course the rule is about exerting control, That’s what rules are for captain obvious.

  135. The last year and a half to two years have made me realize that I have so many other options on how I spend my money and spend my time than watching the NFL and every time another so called spokesman or whatever rails against the NFL, Coaches, Owners etc on behalf of players that think the Fans really care about their issue of the week is….it just makes it easier and easier to tune it all out

  136. Oh Please…..
    The rule is about showing a little respect, to a country that allows you to play a game, and be VERY well compensated for doing so. And attempting to get back some respect, and some of those fans that left, in the first place.
    The NFL is trying to placate fans, so they can avoid losing as many as they have, over the last couple seasons.
    We are all so very aware that the social justice warriors, who choose to sit or kneel, during the anthem, feel they live in a country, that puts certain people down, holds them back, disenfranchises them. OK….I, for one, get it. So instead of taking part in a protest, that really does nothing, for the affected class of people they claim to represent…..how about coughing up some of that coin, they received in that lucrative contract extension, starting a charity, for those people….teach them how to succeed. That beats alienating the people who really pay your salary.
    All this applies to you as well Mr. Smith….I know you are raking in tons of money, doing what you do….considerably more than I (& a LOT more than a lowly Licensed Practical Nurse makes)

  137. NFL : EMPLOYER

    NFL PLAYERS : EMPLOYEE

    STADIUM : WORK PLACE

    The EMPLOYER has the right to make the rules at the work place (the Stadium). The EMPLOYEE has the right to voice his opinion. As long as it does not infringe on the EMPLOYERS ability to generate income or tarnish the Product. The Players are protesting at the work place. The CAN go on the streets and voice their opinion. But, the Employer does have the right to enforce this.

    Seems pretty simple. Do not like it. QUIT!

  138. Everybody has a boss at some level. Going to work means doing what the boss wants you to do DeMaurice.

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