(FreshAsFrankie)Just as the tide appeared to be turning in favor of President Trump’s suggestion that NFL teams incorporate policies that require players to stand for the National Anthem, a growing wave of resistance against such a proposal has raised the level of suspense for what fans can anticipate seeing come Week 6 of the season on Thursday, Sunday, and Monday. While some owners and executives have already hinted that enforcement of a kneeling ban is coming, there are players raising their voices on the matter as well, and they are pushing back.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones kicked off the week by vowing to punish players who “disrespect” the flag or anthem, and Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase told the press that starting this past weekend, players who wished to protest could do so by remaining in the team’s tunnel until the song was over, but could not under any circumstances protest the anthem on the field. It was reported that the Washington Redskins have already briefed their players on what will be tolerable during the pregame anthem going forth, and at least three other teams have had plans in the works to segue from the controversial demonstrations. Even NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell appeared to fold to fans standing in opposition to the protests, when he issued a memo to all 32 teams, in which he encouraged them to have their player’s stand.
Still, there are those with whom the prospect of such regulations is not sitting well, including the NFL Players Association, which released a statement challenging whether any demonstration held by a player in the league thus far has truly shown disrespect to the flag. Most recently Tampa Bay Buccaneers star Gerald McCoy predicted that there will definitely be some defiance should the league enforce an unconstitutional policy. “I don’t think guys are gonna like it,” McCoy told Adam Schefter on his Know Them From Adam podcast. “I think it’s gonna be an uproar if that is to happen because you’re basically taking away a constitutional right to freedom of speech. If guys wanna have a, I guess you would call it a peaceful protest, I don’t think it’s right to take that away,” he said.