Throw the flag on the weak owners
My guess is that the NFL commissioner and owners were hoping to bring this "anthem" story to a conclusion. I don't think so.
It's hard to believe that so many successful men of industry would be this tone-deaf about their customers. The NFL leadership is missing some key points:
1. They own the teams. They sign the paychecks and approve the players' contracts. Furthermore, their business brand got killed by players kneeling during the National Anthem. So why are they afraid to act like the boss and tell the players to live up to their contracts?
2. Fans like me appreciate the anthem and flag pageantry. It's great to stand up and sing the National Anthem before a sporting event. It's nice to see the players lined up respecting the traditions. It means a lot to the soldiers and their families and the policemen protecting the players.
3. Fans like me don't want to see politics pushed in our faces during sporting events or shows. Just check out ESPN to see what happens when hosts assume that we care to hear their political beliefs.
The NFL commissioner and owners are out of touch with reality, as Derek Hunter pointed out:
The idea that the NFL is only implementing its new national anthem policy because of falling ratings and public pressure is exactly how businesses work. No business exists to employ people; they exist to make as much money as possible. Hemorrhaging fans, or customers, is the quickest path to failure, so it's smart for the NFL to do all it can to stop the swirling public relations disaster its players created.
Fining teams whose players kneel during the anthem isn't "punishing dissent," it's the people who sign the front of the players' sizable checks exerting the authority inherent in any employer/employee relationship.
Players have six other days of the week, and 21 other hours on the day of games, not to mention the months they have off, to protest whatever they want in any matter they choose. They're celebrities in their towns, they don't lack access to media willing to report on anything they do. But when they punch the clock, they should leave their personal agendas in the locker room and do their jobs.
President Trump didn't create the disgust fans felt; he recognized it.
Memo to NFL owners: Listen to President Trump. He has got this one figured out just right.