By Alex Lloyd Gross
Roger Goodell was always called a weak leader by fans and the wrong person for the NFL Commissioners job. He was weak with discipline for players that abused females, committed felonies and allowed the league to tumble into the abyss when players refused to stand for the National Anthem. He tolerated it and watched as viewership fell off by millions. While players on the Eagles did not kneel in protest, plenty of other teams did. The NFL had enough and mandated the players will stand.
Yesterday, July 19, 2018 Goodell backed off on that policy and said it will not be enforced. The players union spoke up and did not like it. So it was changed back to no policy. This while fans have stayed away from football stadiums. The issue of the National Anthem has divided the country into those that think they players can do what they want , while the others think it’s a disgrace.
The players are protesting police abuse of minorities. The problem is, no one is listening. Kneeling before The National Anthem, at a football game where you are going to work, in front of millions of people, is not the time or the place . Imagine the plight of Dan Costello, a struggling plumbing contractor trying to find work. He is given tickets to a game by a friend. He then is forced to watch millionaire players protest . While Costello may care about the social issues the players are trying to address, he is not paying attention to the message. He just wants his team to beat the others, while he sucks down overpriced food.
President Donald Trump has thrown gas on the issue by calling for players to be fired that do not stand. He has called Colin Kaepernick ,the quarterback that started this mess a “Sonofabitch” . Kaepernick was good but other players were much better. That is why he was not signed to any other teams. He is unemployed right now. People that support the players right to protest are not happy with this fact.
The NFL does have an absolute right to demand their players act in a certain manner. The same as any other employer. If you work at the stadium selling $10.00 beers and complain to each customer about your lack of benefits, you can be told to stop discussing it or find other work. The same for our plumbing contractor. If he wants to visit his customers and engage them in political discourse, when the customer wants their drain unclogged, that customer will put in a complaint and have him fired. By enacting the policy to fine teams or players, the NFL was engaging as their right to enforce, a code of conduct for their employees. Now they are too chicken to lay down the law with their overpriced employees and make it stick.