Yesterday, the National Football League’s governance convened in Atlanta to discuss various issues concerning league policies on certain issues. The most controversial agreement by the owners was in relation to the decision that the players are required to either stand during the national anthem in a respectable manner or wait in the locker room until the traditional exercise at the beginning of an athletic contest has concluded or the franchise could incur a pecuniary charge.
Although there has been conflicting information about how peaceful protests have affected the NFL’s financial outlook in regards to television ratings and game day attendance, the league decided to take a small measure of action that would at least appear that they have considered the values of the majority without the complete alienation of those of a different view. Only historians will be able to provide a definitive conclusion to this subject in the future based upon subjective analysis.
In reality, the National Football League is an organization comprised of the patricians and economic aristocracy who are concerned with acrimony between the once Colin Kaepernick-led peaceful demonstration and patriotic individuals whom did not agree with his methodology. The impact of past few seasons has been a contentious issue for traditionalists and social activists to the point where any efforts the NFL attempted for resolution have been a zero sum gain.
The truth is that the franchise owners believe that their fans and sponsors outnumber those who disagree with the current dynamics of society. Therefore, it is unrealistic for those individuals to think that the NFL would alienate their patrons in favor of a minority opinion. If the owners did, it would be seen as a deed of derring-do, but it would become a pyrrhic victory nevertheless.
Also, Kaepernick did little to ingratiate undecideds (or indifferent) to his cause a few seasons ago by donning attire like Fidel Castro shirts and socks with animated swine wearing police caps. Such acts have a detrimental effect on how his platform could have been perceived as infrangible.
Of course, the NFL’s governance was irresponsible by the way they decided to enact the policy apparently by consensus without even cursory communication with the Players Association. Their action does not quell their critics who have claimed for decades that the professional athlete is seen as nothing more than modern chattel in the eyes of the league. There is no evidence to corroborate this claim; it just does little to refute this opinion without having a quorum.
In conclusion, the National Football League should consider providing an opportunity for Kaepernick and others to rejoin the league via clandestine agreements. If these players are seen as being afforded a genuine chance of resurrecting their careers, it could be viewed as the leadership passing an olive branch to those (athletes and some fans) who felt marginalized. Issues would continue along the periphery, but the fairness of the NFL would not be as much in question as in recent years.