Billionaire NFL Owners Rebuked for Announcing Fines for Teams If Players #TakeAKnee

Posted by on May 24, 2018 in Activism, Conscious Living with 0 Comments

By Jessica Corbett | Common Dreams

National Football League (NFL) team owners were widely rebuked Wednesday for a new policy to penalize professional football teams whose players exercise their right to protest after athletes across the league locked armsraised fists, or knelt during the national anthem the past two seasons to support a movement against racial injustice started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.


“If NFL owners actually knew what they were doing, they wouldn’t be having these Hamlet-esque meetings about how to clamp down on protest and would instead merely assert the basic truth: that players hold the right to protest, and fans should respect that right.”
—Dave Zirin, The Nation

“A club will be fined by the league if its personnel are on the field and do not stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem,” according to policy statement released by the NFL on Wednesday.

Commissioner Roger Goodell added that “personnel who choose not to stand for the anthem may stay in the locker room until after the anthem has been performed.”

No NFL owners have come out in opposition to the move, but 49ers owner Jed York reportedly abstained from voting for the new policy, which also allows individual teams to craft additional rules, and was strongly condemned by football fans and civil libertarians alike.

The policy announcement came after Sports Illustrated reported that at a private meeting on Tuesday, owners who oppose the player protests proposed issuing 15-yard penalties against teams whose players kneel. Critics called that plan “utterly absurd,” “industrial-strength stupid,” and “PATHETIC.”

The Nation‘s sports editor, Dave Zirin, called it “among the worst ideas in the history of the National Football League,” writing Wednesday that “one can only imagine an official saying, ‘Exercising of constitutional rights. On the kicking team. 15 yard penalty. First down.'”

In addition to a First Amendment right to peacefullly protest, as Zirin explained, “NFL players have had the space to protest during the anthem not out of the noblesse obligeof ownership but because it is enshrined in the collective bargaining agreement with the union.”

George Atallah of the league’s players association, NFLPA, had said on Twitter that the labor group was not a part of the Tuesday discussion, and after the official announcement on Wednesday, the NFLPA issued a statement reiterating that “the NFL chose to not consult the union in the development of this new ‘policy.'”

In its statement, the NFPLA also praised NFL players for showing “their patriotism through…protests to raise awareness about the issues they care about,” and vowed to “review the new ‘policy’ and challenge any aspect of it that is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement.”

“The idea that some owners would even propose this without speaking to the union is a sign of how drastically out of touch this group of aged billionaires are from the players in their league,” Zirin concluded. “If NFL owners actually knew what they were doing, they wouldn’t be having these Hamlet-esque meetings about how to clamp down on protest and would instead merely assert the basic truth: that players hold the right to protest, and fans should respect that right.”

This post has been updated to reflect that the 49ers owner abstained from voting for the policy, according to ESPN, and to include comments from the ACLU.

Read more great articles at Common Dreams.

Tags: , , , , ,

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on YouTube

New Title

NOTE: Email is optional. Do NOT enter it if you do NOT want it displayed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

FAIR USE NOTICE. Many of the articles on this site contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making this material available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental issues, human rights, economic and political democracy, and issues of social justice. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law which contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. If you wish to use such copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use'...you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. And, if you are a copyright owner who wishes to have your content removed, let us know via the "Contact Us" link at the top of the site, and we will promptly remove it.

The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Conscious Life News assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms.

Paid advertising on Conscious Life News may not represent the views and opinions of this website and its contributors. No endorsement of products and services advertised is either expressed or implied.
Top

Send this to a friend