Protests during the national anthem aren’t going away anytime soon, and in fact, they’ve become more rampant in response to the response to them.
Remember, at one point it was really just Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem. When Donald Trump got involved that sparked mass protests across the league, and we’ve seen owners get sucked into the fray as well — everyone from Jerry Jones to Houston Texans owner Robert McNair, who nearly caused a revolt from his team over his comments on the matter.
So no, this is a matter that won’t be going away, no matter how badly the higher-ups would like it to, but according to the Washington Post, that feeling could ultimately lead to the owners playing their hand.
Here’s Mark Maske:
“Some NFL owners believe there is a strong possibility they will enact an offseason change to the league’s national anthem policy if players’ protests during the anthem persist through the end of this season, reverting to a previous approach of keeping players in the locker room while the anthem is played, according to several people familiar with the league’s inner workings.
“I think that if players are still kneeling at the end of the year, then it could very well happen,” said one person familiar with the owners’ deliberations on anthem-related issues.”
Maske’s source went on to say that it’s still too early to tell if this kind of rule would be implemented, and who knows what this NFL offseason would bring, but at this juncture, it’s pretty easy to say that this would not go over well with many players — and even some fans.
By forcing the players to stay in the locker room during the anthem the NFL would be neutralizing the anthem protests, but in the very same light, they’d also be suppressing the player’s right to protest and express themselves during that time. Of course, the league is a private organization thus it does have the ability to do that if it chooses, but that’s a conversation for a different day.
Perhaps that’s a conversation for the 2018-19 season.