Opinion: NFL wrong yet justified in putting a halt to kneeling


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The NFL Combine took place for several prospects trying to get drafted in April’s NFL Draft.

Jarrod Chermely, Staff Writer

The NFL’s new national anthem policy creates controversy over the suppression of the First Amendment rights, but unfortunately, as a private business, the NFL is well within bounds to do so.

This new policy requires players to “stand and show respect” during the anthem. If a player kneels or refuses to stand, his team will be fined. Individual teams are allowed to fine players as they see fit with the new policy

Any team personnel who do not want to stand for the anthem must stay in the locker rooms until the anthem has finished, according to the policy change.

The NFL players union said it was not involved in the meetings that took place with the NFL commissioner and the 32 team owners.

“Our union will review the new ‘policy’ and challenge any aspect of it that is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement,” the union said in a statement, according to the New York Times.

The NFL was definitely under some pressure to do something about these peaceful protests by players, and this was an expected response by them.

Players should be allowed to kneel during the anthem as a form of peaceful protest, However, it is easy to understand why the NFL would create this new policy. Some fans were angry about the protest, and the protests were blamed for low TV ratings.

While the players union should have been involved with the meetings where the policy was created, it is fully within the NFL’s authority to make this policy. When it comes down to it, the NFL is a private organization and can make policies to better their product however they see fit.

They are suppressing the rights of the players to protest, but it is not unconstitutional for an employer to decide which rights are expressed at work and to what degree.

All in all it will be an interesting next season for the NFL, and it will be interesting to see how the players react to this policy change.