Professional football has adopted a new National Anthem policy at its games, beginning with this fall.
Several players have demonstrated against the playing of the National Anthem before games in the recent past by kneeling or sitting for the anthem. This disrespect toward America has stirred controversy and hurt pro football.
The NFL owners approved the new policy, which states that a team can be fined if its players are on the field during the National Anthem and do not stand and show respect for the flag. Players can elect to remain in the locker room until after the National Anthem program. The old policy was that the players had to be on the field for the National Anthem.
By not standing for the National Anthem, the few players who protested in this manner upset many football fans and in the long term, if it continued, there was fear by the owners and others that pro football would be damaged.
The new policy is reasonable, but by staying in the locker room during the National Anthem a bad taste will remain in the mouths of many fans, especially toward the players who remain off the field. The new policy will not be a cure-all but it is worth a try.
The new policy also allows individual teams to enact their own policies concerning player protests during the anthem. Discipline is left up to the teams.