The NFL just made a monster move.
Instead of ignoring the rampant anthem-kneeling problem, the league finally implemented a new rule forcing players to stand for the national anthem.
But that new rule might backfire completely and make anthem-kneeling so much worse.
On Wednesday, NFL owners unanimously approved a new policy that requires players to stand if they are on the field during the anthem, or they can choose to remain in the locker room if they prefer.
Players who refuse to abide by the new rule will be subjected to a fine. The amount of the fine has not been disclosed, but will most likely depend on whether it’s a first offense or the player has kneeled several times in the past.
Not surprisingly, several NFL players are enraged, including Malcolm Jenkins and Chris Long of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Jenkins tweeted in response:
— Malcolm Jenkins (@MalcolmJenkins) May 23, 2018
And Long also tweeted:
— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) May 23, 2018
The NFL’s decision has clearly escalated the tension between the league and the players.
The NFLPA, which is the union for the players, issued a statement saying the new rule could make matters much worse next season:
“The NFL chose to not consult the union in the development of this new ‘policy.’ NFL players have shown their patriotism through their social activism, their community service, in support of our military and law enforcement and yes, through their protests to raise awareness about the issues they care about.
“The vote by NFL club CEOs today contradicts the statements made to our player leadership by Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Chairman of the NFL’s Management Council John Mara about the principles, values and patriotism of our league.
“Our union will review the new ‘policy’ and challenge any aspect of it that is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement.”
Regardless of how players feel about this new rule, what they fail to realize is that this isn’t some moral stance the NFL is taking.
Players claim to kneel to protest police brutality, but they are spitting in the faces of those who fought and died for their freedom so they can make millions of dollars by playing a game.
But the real issue is that these players are affecting the NFL’s bottom line.
TV ratings and stadium attendance were atrocious last year.
When people watch sports, they don’t want divisive political statements.
They watch games to escape.
If Chris Long and Malcolm Jenkins really want to make a difference, perhaps they should devote more time in their communities when they’re off the field, because most fans just want to enjoy a good football game after a long week of work.