Jets, NFL could be on an anthem collision course

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Jets CEO Christopher Johnson became the first NFL owner to deviate from the non-unanimous unanimous non-vote vote to change the anthem policy. And his plan to pay any fines arising from players protesting during the anthem without passing the fines along to his players, which many regard as admirable, could quickly get interesting. And expensive.

The NFL typically doesn’t regard fines as parking tickets, where you just violate the rule, write the check, repeat, repeat, repeat. Instead, the NFL tends to increase the punishment in order to stop the underlying behavior.

So if it starts (and this is just a random number aimed at making the point) at $10,000 in Week One, the second offense may spike to $20,000 in Week Two. And $40,000 in Week Three. And $80,000 in Week Four. And it continues to grow and grow and grow until the thing for which the fine is being imposed ends.

It’s unclear whether the NFL will use progressive discipline in this situation. Given the way the changes to the anthem policy were handled by the league, it’s fair to wonder whether the league has even considered that angle.

At some point, the league will need to consider whether it wants to engage Johnson and the Jets in a showdown that would unfold in the NFL’s backyard, and that would play out on the front and back pages of every periodical in the nation’s No. 1 media market. Before that happens, the league would be wise to reconsider what seems to be one of the worst non-unanimous unanimous non-vote votes that ownership has ever taken not taken.

29 responses to “Jets, NFL could be on an anthem collision course

  1. I wonder what firemen Ed will think of this. Not a smart move, especially in NYC

  2. Good for the Jets ownership, and all players or owners who have the good sense and backbone to thumb their noses, and other extremities, at the two autocrats who currently (and unfortunately) hold the titles of President of the United States, and Commissioner of the NFL.

  3. As long as people are buying band-aids and baby powder I think he can afford any fine they throw at him.

  4. You’re counting the chickens before they hatch.

    He may have just said that in defiance to Goodell. Maybe to merely support his players. Or both. I know if I work for a guy who is a ‘good guy’ I don’t want him screwed. I want the ‘keeper’ around.

    If I’m a Jet and I wanted to kneel, I wouldn’t. I would go to the temp Mr Johnson and say “I want to do this, will you help support this”, instead of kneeling.

    I think a bigger issue is his brother’s Ambassadorship. Trump is as vindictive as they come. I would venture to guess he won’t last long and thus force the brother out of the #1 spot.

  5. The NFL is no stranger to making incredibly dumb (non)decisions, and then complicating the situation by making even dumber future moves. Can’t wait to see how Rodger F’s this up even more going forward. Kudos to the NFL owners for being proactive in awarding Goodell with a contract extension AND raise! smh

  6. Puhleeze. We all know how this ends. If Al Davis was alive he could tell everybody. In the end the Jets will fold and fall in line. Just like every other that dissent from the Mara cabal.

  7. What’s not mentioned here or anywhere else I’ve read is that besides the week after Trump made that comment and EVERY team and most of their owners did some sort of demonstration (the Jets locked arms, including Christopher Johnson) the Jets never did anything else. I watch every game and never saw a single person take a knee.

  8. The fines should be progressive and I suggest they start at $100,000.

    That way they’ll escalate to over $1,000,000 per occurrence quickly.

    Then the Jets can reconsider their CEO’s “plan” and fire him.

  9. No jets players kneeled last year, they all linked arms (the owner included). It likely won’t be an issue.

  10. I think progressively higher fines for each player that violates the rule is a perfectly acceptable solution to the issue. No need to make a big stink about it each time, just keep sending them a bill until they stop. Simple.

  11. Politics destroys everything it touches. This little on field protesting doesn’t change one mind, doesn’t help one person. It doesn’t “start a conversation” because that was started long ago.

  12. Putting all the political grandstanding aside, I am really curious if the team/owner can actually pay any fines the NFL would impose on players, without having those fines be counted against the salary cap. I can’t see how you wouldn’t be required to do so, as not counting it would seem to be an open invitation for teams to circumvent the cap with payments outside the cap. If the fines were relatively small, it does not become a real problem from a practical perspective, but if a lot of players do it, and the fines become significant (i.e. more than $50k per occurrence, or more if it happens several times), it would seem like it could become a potential cap issue for the team.

  13. Once again, for those who are deaf, dumb, and blind, the American people are OVERWHELMINGLY against football players kneeling during the national anthem. Fans feel like the players are spitting in their faces. Disrespecting the entire nation doesn’t help any cause.

  14. It won’t come to that because the players, contrary to popular belief, aren’t malcontents and won’t put him or their franchise in that position. They just are happy to hear they’re not working for tone deaf owners who say they’re “running the prison” or telling them that they better do it like some other Texas team owner after passive aggressively getting a failed pizza CEO to attack their own league. It’s called treating the players like what they are, partners, which is why the NBA entering into a dialogue and arriving at the same result was met with a very different reaction than the NFL’s usual unilateral approach, which got backlash from all sides despite it actually being more lenient on standing for the anthem. Treat people with common courtesy is all, foreign concept for this league, I know.

  15. The NFL typically doesn’t regard fines as parking tickets…
    But it does for NY teams, if it fines them at all. Eg, Jets were allowed to defy the league’s 2006 sideline video memo, and allowed to make further tamper efforts for Revis AFTER being fined for Woody’s initial tamper comments, and then allowed to make false claims against Kraft. And across town, Eli’s NFL fraud case ridiculously deemed not to be in breach of NFL conduct, Josh Brown given a discount for domestic abuse. Giants also freely allowed to use in 2016 games on the sidelines: a cellphone v Philly, needles on Steelers’ balls, and a walkie-talkie v Cowboys to break helmet comms rules. Fraudger got NY covered by the shield.

  16. I think way too much is being read into Johnson’s statement. He’s already on the record as being personally against kneeling during the anthem and not a single Jet kneeled last season. He offered them the alternative linking arms during the anthem and the players are fine with that. He’s not risking a penny and on no collision course with the new policy that I can see.

  17. Just like every opinion comment should do on here, I’m gonna begin by stating, I could be wrong, but….

    I think it’s actually against the rules to do such a thing.

    There was an obscure thing that happened years ago when Dick Vermeil was coaching the Chiefs, he offered Morton Anderson a bottle from his vineyard for a game winning kick which was nixed by the league bc any club in any capacity cannot offer anything to a player outside of the contract.

    Another example is that of bounties. Outside of the obvious player safety side, this is the second reason bounties aren’t allowed.

    So I’m assuming paying a player’s fine would fall in the same category.

  18. I don’t think Daddy is going to be very happy when he finds out what the little silver spooner did. God Bless the USA, especially those in uniform.

  19. No mention of the fans having to stand as well in this story?

    Probably because Jets fans are usually too sauced to stand anyway.

    Maybe a rule stating they must “drunkenly sway on their feet with their hands placed under a bucket held near their chins, in case they puke. (the puking could be the result of the alcohol or the play of the team)”

  20. This whole thing is gutless pandering to Cadet Bone Spurs and a segment of loud-mouthed faux patriots in the fan base.
    The lines at the restrooms and beer stands are long during the anthem and I’m sure no one stops, takes off their cap and claps their hands over their hearts while standing respectfully and singing.
    If all you patriots are so outraged and gung-ho, why not enlist and get a free ticket to Iraq or Afghanistan? Put your patriotism where your mouth is. Show everyone what a hero you are. What? No takers. Thought so.

  21. All of these articles speculating how much this would cost the Jets are missing the point ENTIRELY.
    You have an owner with enough respect for what his players are trying to accomplish that says “I would prefer you stand, but I understand if you feel strongly enough to kneel. I am also willing to work with you to find other ways to accomplish your goals.” And you know what, that statement and its underlying commitment are enough to earn the respect of the players. Enough that they actually respect his preference that they stand, which is why NOT A SINGLE PLAYER JET TOOK A KNEE LAST YEAR!
    The players are just trying to get their message heard, and Christopher Johnson that if he works to understand what they are saying, instead of just legislating for them to shut up, then there is no need to kneel in the first place!

  22. gtodriver says:
    May 25, 2018 at 7:48 am
    The fines should be progressive and I suggest they start at $100,000.

    That way they’ll escalate to over $1,000,000 per occurrence quickly.

    Then the Jets can reconsider their CEO’s “plan” and fire him.


    That would be great but they have a little thing called the CBA and it has a strict schedule for player fines/

  23. You guys are such babies when you don’t get your way. ENOUGH! This is a football site. Let’s cut the politics out and move on.

  24. As soon as the first fine gets issued the NFL will be sued. I’m amazed the league’s attorneys ok’d this rule. The league is already trying to figure out a face-saving way to back off this hard-line stance. And the bottom line is that guys are still subject to police abuse just for suspicion of having brown skin. No one is talking about fixing the cause of the protests – they just want the protesters to follow Archie Bunker’s command to, “Stifle!”

  25. The whole issue, as pertaining to the Jets (as others have pointed out) is a moot point. Nobody kneeled, nobody will kneel. Johnson knows that. But what he did just do is point out to every potential free agent next year (when the Jets cap situation will still be in great shape) is that this owner has the player’s back. It’s never too early to put a plan in place.

  26. Here’s an example: The first time the Patriots got caught cheating, they were fined $500,000 and a draft pick. The second time they got caught cheating, they were fined $1,000,000 and two draft picks, and the third they get caught cheating, they will be fined $1,500,000 and three draft picks. See how that works? In theory, this will stop the underlying behavior. In theory.

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