The NFL apparently still has no idea how to handle National Anthem protests.
The league is currently holding its spring meetings, and theyre obviously discussing the biggest issue in football over the past two years. ESPN reported the following proposals to deal with the situation:
- Allow each team to implement its own policy
- Clear the field of all football personnel while the anthem is played
- Instruct players who dont want to stand to remain in the locker room while the anthem is played
- Impose penalties on teams and players who do not stand, including a 15-yard penalty and/or fines
- Add contract language that requires players to stand
- Leave the current policy in place
Having the teams stay in the locker rooms isnt a terrible idea. College football already does it, but it could be seen as just the easiest way out. (SLIDESHOW: These Sexy Women Love Football)
The rest of these are pretty bad options. Id like to see contract language added requiring players to stand, but I could easily see most players refusing to sign.
Heres what I think we have to do, and it might cost some money. Owners need to make it crystal clear that players are employees and not the men running the show. This would come to a quick end if players started getting cut. I promise that wouldnt take long at all. If a player kneels on the field, the owner should walk down there and fire him immediately. Now, there are some questions about whether or not kneeling is conduct detrimental enough to the team to void guaranteed money. Probably smartest to just cut a guy with next-to-no guaranteed money left.
Finally, can we all just admit that this issue has pretty much played itself out? Why are we pretending that this is still a huge problem? Its slowly been winding down. Maybe the NFL should just let it go away and not do anything to inflame the situation. Of course, this is the NFL were dealing with. Nobody ever accused them of being geniuses.