NFL takes another step toward decline

NFL takes another step toward decline
May 30
01:00 2018

For the last 30 years or so, the NFL and its owners have had a sense of entitlement unmatched by any other professional sports league due to their popularity.  The NFL has now gone one step too far with its new national anthem policy pertaining to the players.

Recently the NFL commissioner announced a new rule that states that all team personnel, including players, must stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem if they’re on the field.  Players who do not wish to participate in the anthem are allowed to stay inside the locker room.

The new policy has not clearly defined what “showing respect” actually means, which makes the rule totally ambiguous.  “We didn’t define exactly what they have to be doing to be out there,” said Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney II.  “But I think everyone understands what it means to be respectful toward the anthem.”

“We’re not forcing anyone to stand that doesn’t feel that’s within the way they feel about the particular subjects,” said Rooney.  “But those that are on the field are going to be asked to stand.”

Any player that does decide to “violate” the rule can’t be disciplined by the league, but the team can be fined by the league.  It’s up to the individual team to develop its own policy for disciplining players who protest during the anthem.

This new rule really shows how lost the NFL really is.  Thankfully not all owners are on board with the new policy, which means not all of the league owners are out of touch with what is going on.

The most frustrating part of this policy is how the league has totally changed the narrative of why players decided to kneel, raise fists or link arms in the first place.  I have said it before and I guess I have to say it again: The protest was not in opposition to the flag or anthem but to bring attention to the systemic oppression minorities face in this country.

As a diehard fan of the NFL, I am finding it harder and harder to continue to support a league that openly denies its players the right to peacefully, protest especially since the league is getting paid to have them stand for the anthem.  The league is not being “patriotic” by having the players stand for the anthem; they are simply advancing their profits.

The other part of my frustration lies with the players themselves.  African-Americans make up more than 70 percent of the league, yet they still allow the league and the owners to proceed as they wish.

The NFL player’s association is the major problem, the way I see it.  As compared to the NBA, the NFLPA is one of the weakest in professional sports.  The association routinely cowtails to the demands of the owners when it comes to negotiations of the collective bargaining agreement, a stark contrast to what happens in the NBA.

It’s sickening that the players in the NFL allow the league to trample over them whenever they feel like it.  I can’t imagine why the players don’t realize they have all the power when it comes to the league.  Without the players, there is no league. Why don’t they get that?

As of now I am proud to say that I can no longer support a league that does not have their employees’ best interest at heart.  Until the league begins to understand the bigger picture, they have lost a lifelong fan.  I’m sure more people will follow suit and professional football will no longer be the most popular pro sport in the country.

This new policy should show the players that the league does not care about their fight against racism but instead only sees them as commodities and labor.  The fact that President Donald Trump has jumped on board with this new policy is all the players need to see to take action. Let’s remember that what the players were doing is free speech, so that tells me the owners care nothing about the players’ rights but only about their bottom line.  Until the players get it through their heads that they hold all the cards, the NFL owners will continue to impose their will.  NFL players please WAKE UP AND TAKE ACTION!!!

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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