Trump Slams NFL For Refusing to Make Players Stand for Anthem
In an early morning tweet on Wednesday, President Trump criticized the NFL for announcing that they would not introduce a rule requiring players to stand for the national anthem.
“The NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem,” Trump wrote. “Total disrespect for our great country!”
The day before, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell met with owners at their annual conference in New York City. In a subsequent statement, the NFL and the Players Association released a statement saying that they would “work together to promote positive social change and address inequality in our communities.”
But while the NFL considered a rule that would require players to stand for the anthem, the general consensus after the meeting was that such a rule would not be forthcoming.
“Everyone who is part of our NFL community has a tremendous respect for our country, our flag, our anthem and our military,” the statement said. “In the best American tradition, we are coming together to find common ground and commit to the hard work required for positive change.”
Goodell clearly understands what this controversy is doing to the health of the league; in a letter to executives last week, he encouraged teams to move beyond this particular method of protest.
“The current dispute over the national anthem is threatening to erode the unifying power of our game, and is now dividing us, and our players, from many fans across the country,” Goodell wrote. “Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the national anthem. It is an important moment in our game. We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us.”
The executives and owners know they will have chaos on their hands if they “force” players to stand for the national anthem, but they also know that these protests are costing them enormously in the areas of fan loyalty, TV ratings, ticket sales, and merchandising. Unfortunately for the league, the liberals who support the players and their protests are not, by and large, the kind of people who fill the stadium stands on Sunday afternoon. And ultimately, the fans will have the final say. The players may continue to kneel for the national anthem…but they may eventually do so in a stadium that looks more like a ghost town.