NFL owners on Tuesday mulled the possibility of assessing an in-game penalty against teams whose players kneel in protest during the national anthem.
Sports Illustrated reported that NFL owners met in Atlanta and discussed how to handle anthem protests moving forward.
One suggestion was to have the home team decide whether both teams would be on the field for "The Star-Spangled Banner," or remain in their respective locker rooms. If the teams chose to come out, a team would be assessed a 15-yard penalty if any of their players protested during the anthem.
Sports journalists took to Twitter and roundly criticized the concept.
OK, here it is: The worst idea. https://t.co/exFyZ5faUW— Don Van Natta Jr. (@DVNJr) May 22, 2018
I hope the NFL isn’t spending much time on this idea. Because it’s a dumb idea. https://t.co/Gtv6Rz1g3i— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) May 22, 2018
Better be a short discussion. That is industrial-strength stupid. https://t.co/dqPytqbsul— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) May 22, 2018
By the time we're done we'll have a 5-yard kneeling, a 15-yard kneeling, and 30 minutes of replay before opening kickoff so the refs can determine if there was any flagrant kneeling that would result in a suspension https://t.co/wiIATeT4KT— tommy tomlinson (@tommytomlinson) May 22, 2018
Multiple NFL players took a knee during the national anthem prior to games for the past two seasons in an effort to raise awareness of racial inequality and social justice issues, such as police brutality.
President TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 panel faces double-edged sword with Alex Jones, Roger Stone Trump goes after Woodward, Costa over China Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves MORE routinely criticized those who protested, calling for them to be fired or punished by the league. He went on to criticize league commissioner Roger Goodell for his inaction on the issue.
Two players who were among the first to take a knee during the 2016 season — Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid — are now free agents. They have filed separate lawsuits against the NFL claiming owners colluded to keep them off of a team because of their history of protests.