The anti-American anthem protests have been a stain on the NFL.
The disgraceful protests over the last two years have driven away both fans and sponsors.
But now prominent protesters are using a new method to disrespect the American flag.
The New Policy
After free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick began his unpatriotic protest in 2016, several other players copycatted.
For two full seasons, the NFL watched stadium attendance and television viewership dwindle. League sponsorships and advertising revenue dropped as well.
In order to quell the protests, the league agreed to disperse $89 million in funding for activist causes of the players’ choosing. The goodwill gesture didn’t work, and even caused a rift within the player coalition.
Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins accepted the terms on the players’ behalf, but former Kaepernick teammate and protest hardliner Eric Reid implied Jenkins backstabbed the movement by taking the deal.
Commissioner Roger Goodell, after two years of inactivity, made an attempt to satisfy both the aggrieved players and the disgusted fans.
Goodell instituted a new anthem policy that required players to stand and show respect for the anthem, or remain in the locker room. Several players as well as their union rep balked at the new guidelines.
The Same Disrespect
Amid discord from the players, Goodell caved on his new policy and suspended it pending further discussion with the players.
Since then, the NFL pre-season is underway, and many players have already protested.
Several players have again kneeled, but Jenkins and fellow teammate and vocal protester Michael Bennett have chosen a new way to protest; neither player went out on the field during the Star-Spangled Banner.
Despite complaining about how unfair the new rule is, Jenkins and Bennett used it to protest. Jenkins stayed in the tunnel while Bennett remained in the locker room.
NFL At A Crossroads
The actions by protesters like Jenkins, Bennett, and others shows nothing but contempt for America.
The players swear they’re not anti-military or anti-America, but their actions say otherwise.
And Kaepernick, the player who started it all, has been very clear in his hateful anti-America rhetoric.
If Jenkins and others don’t agree with his message, perhaps they should find a different way to express themselves.
In fact, Jenkins said he was no longer going to protest because he felt the message, whatever it was, had already been sent.
Jenkins lied, which is the same accusation Reid levied against him.
The season hasn’t even begun, and players are already disrespecting the flag.
They can’t even be bothered to step on the field and show a small bit of patriotism. It’s no wonder millions of fans have turned away.
For the first two-year stretch in a long time, the NFL has seen a dip in popularity. The NFL brand was thought to be invincible, but if the league continues to spit in the face of the majority of the country, it will find itself taking a huge financial hit.