The New York Jets will probably the first of many teams who will openly opposed the NFL’s rule on standing for the National Anthem. The NFL state’s in their rule that any team with a player not standing for the anthem will be fined. The Jets said they will not folllow the rule and will basically endorsed their players to disrespect the Flag by paying for their fines.
ATLANTA — Despite the NFL’s approval of a revised policy that requires players on the field to stand during the national anthem, Jets chairman Christopher Johnson told Newsday on Wednesday that his players are free to take a knee or perform some other protest without fear of repercussion from the team.
League owners unanimously adopted a policy that allows players who don’t want to participate in the anthem to remain in the locker room. Players who do appear on the field for the anthem must stand; if they don’t, their respective club faces a league-issued fine and teams can levy additional fines.
“I do not like imposing any club-specific rules,” Johnson said. “If somebody [on the Jets] takes a knee, that fine will be borne by the organization, by me, not the players. I never want to put restrictions on the speech of our players. Do I prefer that they stand? Of course. But I understand if they felt the need to protest. There are some big, complicated issues that we’re all struggling with, and our players are on the front lines. I don’t want to come down on them like a ton of bricks, and I won’t. There will be no club fines or suspensions or any sort of repercussions. If the team gets fined, that’s just something I’ll have to bear.”
Johnson has been highly critical of the possibility that owners would require players to stand. During the owners meetings in Orlando in March, Johnson told reporters he didn’t feel a change in protocol was necessary. “I know there’s some discussion of keeping players off the field until after the anthem. I think that’s a particularly bad idea . . . I just think that trying to forcibly get the players to shut up is a fantastically bad idea.”
No Jets players took a knee last season. Instead, the players, coaches and Johnson locked arms during the playing of the anthem. Johnson also has worked closely with several Jets players, as well as former linebacker Demario Davis, who now plays with the Saints, to promote social justice and criminal reform issues. He wants that work to continue and will speak with players and coaches in the coming days to make sure the new workplace guidelines don’t interfere with that mission.
Why would a business risk losing their fans to pander to their overpaid millionaires?