This is the last Sunday before NFL owners meet to discuss how to end the anti-American anthem protests.
With ratings cratering, the protests are starting to leave a mark on the NFL’s bottom line.
But the NFL anthem protestors forgot this one crucial thing.
Players are all talking about their First Amendment rights.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive lineman Gerald McCoy said he thinks there would “be an uproar” if the NFL decides to force players to stand for the national anthem.
“I don’t think guys are gonna like it,” McCoy said, when asked about the possible reaction from players. “I think it’s gonna be an uproar if that is to happen because you’re basically taking away a constitutional right to freedom of speech. If guys wanna have a, I guess you would call it a peaceful protest, I don’t think it’s right to take that away.”
Tennessee Titans wide receiver Rishard Matthews told ESPN:
“It’s your right to stand or sit down. You have that right, that freedom of speech, and you’re not allowing that to happen.”
He went further this week by telling a local reporter on Twitter “I would be done playing football,” if the NFL created a rule requiring players to stand or face a penalty.
Matthews deleted the tweet shortly afterward.
Perhaps these anthem protestors should have paid more attention in civics class.
ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith, who is by no means a conservative, dropped some knowledge on players who have made similar arguments:
“We have to remember when everybody wants to bring up first amendment privileges, basically the intent of it all was for government not to be able to silence you–not the private sector.
And the National Football League is the private sector.
And if they decide that they want to silence these individual players, if they decide they want to implement a rule that states: ‘You must stand for the national anthem, you must come out that tunnel, out of that locker room, be on the sidelines and stand for the national anthem,’ it’s perfectly within their right to do it as a private industry and a private employer. That is a fact.”
Smith added the fact that the NFL is even considering such an action shows there’s a “whole bunch of people out there who feel this way about this issue.”
If the NFL does put an end to the anthem protests, would you go back to watching?
Vote below and then sound off in the comments!