Should the NFL force players to stand for the national anthem?
via AP

Should the NFL force players to stand for the national anthem?

#NoMoreKneeling
#PlayersHaveRights
Join the conversation and vote below

President Donald Trump criticized Marshawn Lynch for standing for Mexico's National Anthem, but not the United States'. According to NFL public relations executive Joe Lockhart, the NFL owners are considering changing policy language to require players to stand during the anthem. Requiring players to stand would help with the league’s image, and bring fans back. However, forcing the players to go against their values may be morally wrong, and drive other fans away. What do you think? 🏈

#NoMoreKneeling
#PlayersHaveRights

This national anthem protest has gone far enough. NFL players can protest whatever they want, but they can't disrespect the flag while they are doing it. By requiring the players to stand, the league might get in the good graces of its fans who have been leaving the NFL in droves over these protests. Even fans who are empathetic to the cause can't support the protest because they can't move past its disrespectful nature. Here's what Roger Goodell had to say:

Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the national anthem...We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us. We also care deeply about our players and respect their opinions and concerns about critical social issues. The controversy over the anthem is a barrier to having honest conversations and making real progress on the underlying issues. We need to move past this controversy, and we want to do that together with our players.

Let's map out the NFL's logic here. Players are protesting racial inequality and oppression. So the best possible move is to add to the oppression? That is some next level delusion on the NFL's part. 

These players are exercising their right to free speech. The NFL may be dealing with upset fans, but it could be facing lawsuits if it forces players to stand during the national anthem. Players deserve to have the freedom guaranteed by the Constitution to peaceful protest. Taking that away would be a public relations nightmare for the league. Here is an excerpt from a letter to the editor of the Wausau Daily Herald by Dr. Jerry Sheff:

When African Americans are treated so blatantly without fairness and justice, the American flag and our national anthem are superseded by the Constitution and freedom of speech. It is, therefore, truly patriotic for athletes like Colin Kaepernick to get down on a bent knee before the flag and during the anthem. It is called a form of passive resistance.
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