NFL officials contend that the new policy concerning the national anthem was far more of a response to fans who attend games rather than worry of reprisal from President Trump.
Officials from about the league told Sports Illustrated on Thursday they heard from a lot of their fans, some who have been angry with their group and other individuals who have been upset with the league.
“You know how several letters I got final fall?” Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney mentioned. “Yeah, the fans’ point of view on this was absolutely a issue. We heard from a lot of fans more than the final six months. No query that was component of the choice-creating. [Those] men and women count on the players to be respectful in the course of the anthem. Fairly straightforward.”
Dallas Cowboys COO Stephen Jones mentioned that fans come to the game to get a break from the daily norms.
“People come to our games to get away from every thing,” Jones mentioned. “They do not want to be concerned about their finances, they do not want to be concerned about their job, [and] they do not want to be concerned about what’s in the news. They want to get away and unwind for 3 or 4 hours.”
San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York, the only official to abstain from the vote, mentioned men and women have had sufficient of the “political fights.”
“I consider men and women do want to get back to football. But our players also have the potential, and the appropriate to champion their causes and bring focus to these causes,” York mentioned.
Officials seemingly caving to their fans, rather than the president, was the opposite of a couple of reports that mentioned owners have been concerned with Trump’s comments on the protests in the course of the national anthem, with one particular group official explaining to Bleacher Report that owners are “f—–g terrified” of him.
Trump’s name did come up in the course of the meeting, according to Sports Illustrated. 1 owner mentioned the president was talked about 3 instances, but not for lengthy periods of time.
“It was far more how [Trump] may well react, anticipating that. Also, how the fans will react, how the media will react. That is what we attempted to consider by way of. … No matter what we did, [Trump] would most likely attempt to get involved one particular way or the other—either criticizing us or taking credit for the modify,” Green Bay Packers president Mark Murphy mentioned.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones also explained that Trump “certainly initiated some of the pondering, and was a component of the whole image. But all of that was provided consideration.”
Trump told Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade that he supported the league’s choice to fine teams need to their players or personnel choose to skip the national anthem. He blasted players who nevertheless select to kneel.
“I consider men and women do want to get back to football.”
“I do not consider men and women need to be staying in the locker rooms, but nevertheless I consider it is excellent,” Trump mentioned. “You have to stand proudly for the national anthem. You shouldn’t be playing, you shouldn’t be there. Perhaps they shouldn’t be in the nation.”
The NFL’s choice Wednesday came far more than a year soon after former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick ignited a firestorm when he decided to kneel for the national anthem just before a preseason game and then just before typical-season games all through the 2016 season.
“This season, all league and group personnel shall stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem. Personnel who select not to stand for the Anthem could keep in the locker area till soon after the Anthem has been performed,” Goodell mentioned.
NFL owners chose not to consist of the players in their choice.
“The NFL chose to not seek advice from the union in the improvement of this new ‘policy.’ NFL players have shown their patriotism by way of their social activism, their neighborhood service, in help of our military and law enforcement and yes, by way of their protests to raise awareness about the concerns they care about,” the NFL players’ union mentioned in a statement.