This is actually quite simple:

  1. The NFL is a business.
  2. In a business, anything that pisses off your customers is bad thing.
  3. So, if you want to succeed in business, you stop whatever it is is pissing off your customers, and….
  4. …you really don’t give a shit about WHY it’s pissing off your customers. You just stop it.

In reality, the players have lost absolutely nothing in this deal. Here are the two scenarios:

PRIOR SCENARIO: Player takes a knee on the field during the anthem. After the game, player is mobbed by reporters wanting to know why he took a knee.

CURRENT SCENARIO: Player stays in the locker room during the anthem. After the fame, player is mobbed by reporters wanting to know why he stayed in the locker room.

Net Effect Of The Rule Change, Vis a Vis Media Coverage? Zero.

Net Effect of the Rule Change, Vis a Vis the Spectator? All good for the NFL.

Pretty simple, that.

Indeed, if there is any group of people who can unite and collaborate in a valiant effort to triage America’s racial wounds, it’s a room full of old, wealthy white men.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate your high-minded sarcasm, but if you think about it, if old wealthy white men are NOT in favor of triaging America’s racial wounds, they’re not going to get triaged. Ever.

Translation: The optics of this situation are terrible because some field hands got unruly. We think social justice is neat, but players will protest in the way that we deem acceptable or they will face the consequences.

Correct. See above, starting with “The NFL is a business” for a full explanation.

The NFL Players Association was more succinct: “The NFL chose not to consult the union in the development of this new ‘policy.’”

Leaked audio of an NFL meeting last month showed that the league and team owners were primarily concerned with how this affects their appearance.

…which surprised nobody with an IQ above 80.

Ultimately, they fear our boorish president.

Opinion, not fact. If you look at the falling ratings and in some places, attendance, you easily find what they “fear”. Occam’s Razor, and all that.

The policy is a clear effort to make an already fading controversy disappear. As The Ringer’s Claire McNear writes:

“There are two explanations for this baffling decision. One: The NFL’s decision-makers truly are bothered by the protest. Or two: They are collectively some of the most profound morons we’ve ever had the misfortune of having our news cycles dictated by.”

Well, Claire, it turns out that you missed the most obvious explanation of all. Pity you.

Prior to this week, teams had no explicit basis to fire players who kneel during the anthem, so the NFL invented one.

No, but they could have anyway. The NFL just gave the owners some extra cover.

Now, players who don’t “stand and show respect for the anthem” will cost their team money, thereby giving owners the pretense to fire (or decline to hire) those who “disrespect the flag.”

You leave out the most likely outcome, which will be to fine the player the amount they just cost the team. Odd that you left that out.

Unless you think African-Americans are intrinsically inferior in earning money, the NFL’s almost-exclusively white ownership club is a symptom of our nation’s Original Sin.

Nobody is arguing other that the US has done a shitty job of socializing the African American minority, which really didn’t start in earnest until 100 years after the Civil War. The discussion about WHY this has taken as long as it has is beyond the scope of your tome, however.

NFL owners effectively transformed voluntary participation in a pregame ceremony into compulsory patriotism.

I suspect their view had nothing to do with patriotism. It was, as mentioned above, more like “stop pissing off our fans”.

The NFL, as a business regulating its services and controlling the conduct of its workers, is doing what any business would do to employees who malign the perception of the product.

Good God. You understood the real reason all this time? You just wrote a thousand words disagreeing with yourself!

What does this say about NFL fans, who stick around Sunday after Sunday in the wake of Greg Hardy throwing his then-girlfriend against a bathroom wall, choking her, and threatening her life during a domestic abuse incident;

It simply means that if the negative action doesn’t happen on the field, it doesn’t annoy the customer as much as negative actions ON the field. This is a common human shortcoming, that what we SEE impacts us more than what we read or hear. And as much as Hardy (and Prater or Rice) disgust me, they were all insulated by their bad behavior being out of the visual reference of the fan.

What does this say about Trump supporters….

It says that the idea of a Clinton presidency disgusted them more than Trump’s rhetoric or behavior.

What does this say about the crowd of self-appointed free speech warriors

It says that they understand that the Constitution better than you. Because the Kaepernick matter is not a free speech issue.

What does this say about our media

Well, you’ll never get me to defend the media. :-)

Their anachronistic fantasies aren’t just a misguided attempt to pander to what they think their traditionalist fans want, they are spoon-feeding the notion that their most deeply felt beliefs about their fellow citizens are morally righteous. We must live in their DisneylaThe NFL, as a business regulating its services and controlling the conduct of its workers, is doing what any business would do to employees who malign the perception of the product.nd, or else.

Oh, please. Go shovel that shit someplace else. They’re thinking about their bottom lines. You admitted it yourself above, and now you’re contradicting yourself again.

First Amendment rights may not extend to the workplace

Sheesh. Again, you get it, but you write just the opposite. Say no more. It’s not a free speech issue. Nobody’s ordering anybody to parrot anything.

NFL pregame rituals are grandiose displays of nationalism and deferences to the military industrial complex — to argue these are apolitical statements is to assume that these are default cultural norms and not aspects generally associated with conservatism.

They are not apolitical, but you seriously need to read this:

Beaudrillard, in this book, points out how symbolism means something, but it means less when it’s removed from it’s natural context. Marching the flag in an event where the US is represented (e.g., the Olympics) has one meaning; that meaning is diluted when it happens where the US is *not* being represented. Put another way, the flag at the Olympics is a “must have”; at a football game, it’s a “nice to have”. It’s nationalistic meaning is much diluted.

White Americans remain politically dominant enough to shape media coverage in a way that often places African-American prerogatives in a bind. If a black person marches in the streets, they’re told that they’re a thug. If they protest, they’re told it’s a riot. If they bend down on one knee, they’re told it’s disrespectful to our country.

When we have a president who allowed neo-Nazi protests to slide, but doesn’t extend that same kind of compassion and nuanced thinking to that “son of a bitch” NFL player, it kind of proves the flag kneelers’ point, doesn’t it?

No. And you yourself explained WHY it doesn’t when you yourself wrote:

The NFL, as a business regulating its services and controlling the conduct of its workers, is doing what any business would do to employees who malign the perception of the product.

Next time you post a tome, you might consider *not* refuting all the points you desire to make.

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