The National Football League announced today a new policy to address protests during the National Anthem voted on during the owner’s meetings this week. In a statement released early this morning NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell outlined the update to the policy:
As you can see the membership “aka as the owners” have finally decided to put an end to the embarrassing media circus that comes from a player deciding to use their voice and platform during the National Anthem when they are guaranteed to get the media exposure to protest the various social injustices happening around the country. They’re doing this mainly because they believe that their bottom line is hurting and the membership has always been more concerned with making the most money possible.
This new policy is a problem for two large reasons: one it basically gives teams the right to refuse to employ players that will not participate in the anthem. Yes it says in the new policy it says that those that don’t want to participate in the showing respect during the anthem can stand somewhere else, but that will still draw negative attention so teams will then avoid players who don’t participate in the anthem.
The second large problem with this new policy is that it shows that the NFL has decided that player’s first amendment rights mean nothing because it hurts the bottom line. Players have a right to express their voices in whatever way they choose because of free speech, but yet the NFL has just taken away the largest platform they have to express those voices.
I also want to take a quick second to talk about how the league views kneeling during the anthem as an infraction that is ruining the integrity of the game, yet they have no problem allowing guys who assault women to continue to play in the game. To me, it seems weird that the league would punish a guy wanting to kneel and bring awareness for change like they punish a guy caught assaulting women.
What do you think about this new policy? Do you think that it’s a good move for the NFL or are you disappointed with the stance? Are you still going to tune in on Sundays to watch or was this the final straw?