There seems to be no end in sight when it comes to the NFL’s controversial and unpopular national anthem protests, which many believe have contributed to low ratings and attendance numbers this season.
With few options left, NFL owners are reportedly considering making a drastic change to league policy that would essentially hide players in locker rooms during the playing of the national anthem.
A “person familiar with the owners’ deliberations on anthem-related issues” told The Washington Post that the policy change could definitely occur if players are still kneeling at the end of the current season. Several other owners reportedly agreed with the statement.
The Post provided additional details on the stunning development:
Some NFL owners believe there is a strong possibility they will enact an offseason change to the league’s national anthem policy if players’ protests during the anthem persist through the end of this season, reverting to a previous approach of keeping players in the locker room while the anthem is played, according to several people familiar with the league’s inner workings.
“I think that if players are still kneeling at the end of the year, then it could very well happen,” said one person familiar with the owners’ deliberations on anthem-related issues.
That person said it was “too early to tell” for certain if the change to the anthem policy will be made by owners and the league. The person was “not sure” if a formal vote of the owners would be required to enact such a change but said, “I think most owners would support it, particularly if players continue to kneel this season.”
As previously reported by Independent Journal Review, polls have shown a sharp decline in the NFL's popularity since the national anthem protests took center stage. Some fans have vowed to boycott the league altogether.
Even an ESPN survey found that 51 percent of fans disapprove of players protesting during the anthem, while just 39 percent approve. There's no getting around it — the protests are not popular.
Meanwhile, tickets to the Thanksgiving game between the Washington Redskins and New York Giants are selling for as low as $10.
Clearly, NFL owners feel like something has to change by next season.