NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell signaled last week that a change in policy regarding standing for the national anthem would be approved by team owners at the annual fall meeting next week.
But the players and their allies in the media pushed back — hard. Now it appears that Goodell and the players union will codify a policy that will allow kneeling or any other protest during the playing of the anthem. And the league will justify it by using the NFL brand as a “platform to both raise awareness and make progress on issues of social justice and equality in this country.”
In other words, a total, complete cave to the players.
“What we don’t have is a proposal that changes our policy, we don’t have something that mandates anything. That’s clear. If that was the case I doubt the head of the NFLPA would have put a joint statement out with us.”
The statement released on Wednesday said Goodell invited NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith to the meetings and that the agenda will be a continuation of how to make progress on the important social issues that players have vocalized.
The protests, in a league where African-Americans make up the majority of players, have continued through the current season, with some players kneeling and others standing arm-in-arm in solidarity.
The gesture is intended to call attention to what protesting players see as a pattern of racism in the treatment of African-Americans by U.S. police.
The issue has been exacerbated after U.S. President Donald Trump said last month that players who did not stand during the anthem should be fired.
Lockhart said the discussions will focus on how to use the broad platforms of the NFL, players and clubs to try and make progress on issues of equality, social justice and criminal justice reform.
“These are issues that are important to our clubs, issues that are important to our players, issues that are important to the communities in which we play,” said Lockhart.
”That’s what we are discussing. So for everyone who has speculated over the last few days that somehow there is a proposal that is set for a vote on Tuesday or Wednesday you are speculating.
“Those who are reporting it as fact are reporting it incorrectly.”
And that will be that. The league will bow to the players’ disrespect for the flag — even though they piously claim that’s not what they’re doing — and adopt their radical thesis that police are targeting black people and are racist to the core. I think that in responsem police departments in NFL cities should refuse to provide any security for NFL games. After all, we wouldn’t want the delicate nature of 350 lb. men to be affected by having all these racist police in uniforms making it possible for fans to enjoy the games in safety.
The inmates are in control of the asylum. The National Football League cares more about the radical political views of its players than the feelings and patriotism of its fans. They have apparently resigned themselves to having to live with this controversy for the foreseeable future.
In the meantime, they will continue to lose fans who attend games and watch on TV. Other revenue streams like merchandise will also be negatively impacted.
So much for “America’s Game.”