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Congratulations to the NFL, which has managed to please nearly nobody, rile up nearly everyone, ensure that a fading controversy has re-erupted, and virtually guarantee that the debate over national-anthem protests will take on a new, longer-lasting and evermore divisive life.

The NFL was lambasted by many in and around the league on Wednesday upon the passage of the new policies, as Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins expressed concern about the new policy among many others.

How's that working for you, Commish? It's kind of what's wrong with our country right now - people in high places are trying to divide us, divide loyalties, make this about the flag as if the flag is something other than it really is - which is a representation of what we're about, which is diversity, peaceful protests, right to free speech. They also have owners and players and coaches who have spoken out repeatedly.

National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday the vote was "unanimous" among owners, although San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York said he abstained.

It was barely surviving as a dispute, and working toward closure - until the league riled up its constituency. I'm all for anything that allows me to avoid thinking critically about how people different than me view particular issues in my country.

The Seahawks were on the field Thursday for their third session of organized team activities, but when head coach Pete Carroll, receiver Doug Baldwin and quarterback Russell Wilson met with the media following practice, much of conversation focused on a decision made by the National Football League a day earlier.

Jones said Tuesday night, "I don't want to assess where we are tonight".

They missed so badly, I would submit, because they were deathly afraid of raising the ire of President Trump, who has pounced on this issue as a dog whistle for his constituency.

"You have to stand proudly for the National Anthem or you shouldn't be playing", Trump said. Baldwin did try to expand on his quick reaction.

To even suggest such a thing is about as un-American a concept as one can muster, an odd road to go down in a debate over alleged patriotism. But while the right of public protest is sacrosanct, employers have always had a say in how employees behave when they're on the company clock.

In a statement published on Twitter, he denounced the new policy and explained that demanding the players to stand for the national anthem is not due to the owners' love of country, but their fear of President Donald Trump.

If they weren't being unpatriotic by protesting, then how can they be punished for doing just that? Any violations of the policy would result in fines against the team - not the players.

"It's disgusting", Marshall said Thursday, when asked his opinion of Trump's anthem stance.

After all, once mandatory minicamps end in mid-June, teams don't get together again until training camps open in late July. The players who protest feel strongly that they must do so to highlight social injustice.

"This is not about disrespecting the flag, this is about using their platform to advocate a social justice position that all citizens should be treated with human dignity even when pulled over by police", Johnson told Reuters in an interview. This is a bottom-line financial issue as much, or more, than it is one of patriotism. But I also have no problem with players peacefully demonstrating during the anthem, because I know that is also honoring what my uncle gave his life for -Liberty. "I know what they did was not it".


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