The NFL decision to not compel players to not stand for the National Anthem puts the NFL right back to where they were pre Colin Kaepernick – NFL rule language from “should stand” to “must stand” was not changed.
Goodell stated that, “they believe the players should stand for the national anthem. That there are 6-7 players involved with the protest. And that he wants to understand the underlying issues and to know what the players are protesting.”
I don’t see the issues of the players to be the responsibility of their employers, the NFL team owners. These players are using their employer’s platform to make a public political statement; however, the statement and the cause of the players has fallen on deft ears because of the platform the players choose to use. The audience have been turned off from watching the NFL because they do not want to see a fun, family, entertainment escape platform turned into a political stage, especially at the time during the national anthem; a time when all Americans should be joined together in patriotism.
If players were protesting social injustice within the NFL, then they would have a valid point. However, the players’ issues regarding policing, criminal injustice etc. is not fixable by the NFL. These issues needs to be addressed by directly contacting and communicating with local law enforcement and local elected officials. This is the proper forum and the stage where changes can be made to correct social problems. Jackie Robinson did not take his actions for social injustice on the baseball field, nor did Cassius Marcellus Clay (Muhammad Ali) make his social injustice platform the boxing ring, neither should these NFL players use the football field for their stage to protest. Robinson and Ali took their issues to the people who were directly responsible for making changes, the elected officials.