It’s a private organization. It can do what it wants and it is pretty obvious that the kneeling thing was hurting the NFL brand profoundly. For many fans it wasn’t a protest against police violence but a protest against the fans themselves, many of whom support Trump.
We have made the point that Facebook and Twitter can do what they want with their platforms since they own the platforms. Sometimes that has meant a rather ugly suppression of discussion and speech. We’ve seen it. But in the end it is the social media company’s prerogative. If Facebook and Twitter want to alienate a large portion of their user base, they can do that. But as we’ve seen the market has actually worked some of these issues out over the last couple of months. (We’ll see how it goes.)
Likewise the NFL can ban kneeling during the national anthem. If it alienates players and fans then it will pay at the ticket window. On the other hand if the NFL allows its employees to alienate the people who buy the tickets and merchandise it will pay also. Likely much more.
It looks like the NFL has worked out this equation.
(From Fox News)
The NFL adopted a policy that would fine teams and league personnel did not “stand show respect for the flag and the Anthem,” the league announced Wednesday.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement that the policy was approved “in concert with the NFL”s ongoing commitment to local communities and our country.”