Why you probably won't be seeing any kneeling players prior to this year's Super Bowl

It looks as though NBC's plan to show NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem before the Super Bowl has been foiled.  You can blame random chance, player morale, or cosmic justice, but the defilement of our National Anthem before the biggest TV audience of the year is unlikely to happen.  Valerie Richardson reports in the Washington Times:

It appears that NFL players are no longer taking a knee during the [N]ational [A]nthem [–] namely[,] because none of the teams with still[] active protesters has qualified for the postseason.

By the end of the regular season, only five teams featured at least one player regularly sitting or kneeling on the sidelines for the anthem: the Seattle Seahawks, the San Francisco 49ers, the Miami Dolphins, the New York Giants[,] and the Oakland Raiders.

None of those franchises made the playoffs, even though four of the five did so in the previous season, leading to speculation about whether the take-a-knee protests wound up dragging down team performance along with TV ratings.

"By their actions, the kneelers brought controversy into the locker rooms, and this kind of distraction is always going to be detrimental to team cohesiveness," said Robert Kuykendall, a spokesman for the conservative corporate watchdog 2ndVote.

I have long struggled to understand why wealthy owners of NFL teams tolerated this affront to the taxpayers who lavishly subsidize their new stadiums, and to their fans who skew male and patriotic.  The most plausible theories involve their fear of alienating black players and their desire for acceptance in politically correct high society.  But more than anything else – even money, apparently – they want to be winners (that is, owners of winning teams).

It is now clear, what with diminished television audiences and stadium attendees, that they have damaged themselves financially.  So far, they appear to shrug that off, and they have rewarded their commissioner with a new contract that pays him about $40 million a year, reportedly.  But once the suspicion spreads that caving in to the protests costs them victories on the field, they may finally act.

It looks as though NBC's plan to show NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem before the Super Bowl has been foiled.  You can blame random chance, player morale, or cosmic justice, but the defilement of our National Anthem before the biggest TV audience of the year is unlikely to happen.  Valerie Richardson reports in the Washington Times:

It appears that NFL players are no longer taking a knee during the [N]ational [A]nthem [–] namely[,] because none of the teams with still[] active protesters has qualified for the postseason.

By the end of the regular season, only five teams featured at least one player regularly sitting or kneeling on the sidelines for the anthem: the Seattle Seahawks, the San Francisco 49ers, the Miami Dolphins, the New York Giants[,] and the Oakland Raiders.

None of those franchises made the playoffs, even though four of the five did so in the previous season, leading to speculation about whether the take-a-knee protests wound up dragging down team performance along with TV ratings.

"By their actions, the kneelers brought controversy into the locker rooms, and this kind of distraction is always going to be detrimental to team cohesiveness," said Robert Kuykendall, a spokesman for the conservative corporate watchdog 2ndVote.

I have long struggled to understand why wealthy owners of NFL teams tolerated this affront to the taxpayers who lavishly subsidize their new stadiums, and to their fans who skew male and patriotic.  The most plausible theories involve their fear of alienating black players and their desire for acceptance in politically correct high society.  But more than anything else – even money, apparently – they want to be winners (that is, owners of winning teams).

It is now clear, what with diminished television audiences and stadium attendees, that they have damaged themselves financially.  So far, they appear to shrug that off, and they have rewarded their commissioner with a new contract that pays him about $40 million a year, reportedly.  But once the suspicion spreads that caving in to the protests costs them victories on the field, they may finally act.