In private, NFL owners are clashing over players protesting the country

(National SentinelBad for Business: Despite recent public displays of unity with their players, behind the scenes NFL team owners are clashing over on-field displays of disrespect to the American flag and National Anthem, in large part because more and more fans are tuning games out and staying away from merchandise and stadiums, which is hurting revenue.

What’s more, players’ open defiance of President Donald J. Trump, who has called the league out for the displays of disrespect, has also drawn the ire of many owners who argue sparring with the president is also hurting ratings because they know most Americans side with Trump on this issue.

As reported by The Wall Street Journal:

The National Football League’s more muted approach in recent days to responding to attacks from President Donald Trump followed a tense meeting last week in which several owners argued the league’s combative stance was unproductive, according to three people familiar with the meeting.

Those owners argued that taking on a sitting president over whether players should be required to stand for the national anthem was bad for business, while others thought the league should continue to stand up to the criticism, these people said.

The disagreement is a contrast to the message of unity that NFL owners and players have tried to project over the previous eight days, as Trump took on the league over the protests and repeatedly disparaged the state of the game.

Shortly after Trump told a crowd at a political rally in Alabama that it would be nice if some owner would call down to the head coach on the sidelines and tell him to “get that son-of-a-bitch off the field” — a reference to any player who was protesting the anthem and the flag — the league responded quickly, calling Trump, among other things, “out of touch.”

In reality, it’s the league, owners, and definitely players who are ‘out of touch’ with most Americans and certainly most football fans who love the anthem and respect the flag and the country.

Hence, the collapsing ratings and loss of revenue.

It’s not clear which owners were upset by the ongoing feud with Trump. However, as the WSJ pointed out:

Shahid Khan of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Dan Snyder of the Washington Redskins, Bob McNair of the Houston Texans, Robert Kraft of the New England Patriots, Woody Johnson of the New York Jets and Stan Kroenke of the Los Angeles Rams each donated $1 million to [Trump’s] inaugural committee, as did a company Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones controls. Ed Glazer, chairman of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, gave $250,000.

One solution: Continue playing the anthem before games, but keep all players in their respective locker rooms until the anthem is over.

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