(National Sentinel)Â Cowardly: NFL officials have decided to cave on its newly-implemented — then suspended — rule that prohibits players from protesting during the playing of the National Anthem either by kneeling or sitting on the bench.
ESPN reports that the decision to suspend implementation of the new rule will happen “no matter how many meetings and conversations occur regarding the topic.”
So in other words, the new policy will beÂ no policy at all, meaning players are going to be free to continue to disrespect the American flag, the military, and the country in general during opening ceremonies.
The network reported that the suspension is due to “too many people” having strong opinions about the issue. That said, one league official toldÂ ESPN‘s Adam Schefter Sunday morning ahead of the full slate of Week 1 games that “there is continuing dialogue on the topic” as everyone involved attempts to find ways to “address social justice issues.”
This comes following the weakest viewership ratings for Thursday Night Football’s kickoff game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles — a poor showing that did not escape the attention of the biggest critic of the disrespectful protests, POTUS Donald Trump.
“Wow, NFL first game ratings are way down over an already really bad last year comparison. Viewership declined 13%, the lowest in over a decade. If the players stood proudly for our Flag and Anthem, and it is all shown on broadcast, maybe ratings could come back? Otherwise worse!” POTUS tweeted.
Wow, NFL first game ratings are way down over an already really bad last year comparison. Viewership declined 13%, the lowest in over a decade. If the players stood proudly for our Flag and Anthem, and it is all shown on broadcast, maybe ratings could come back? Otherwise worse!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 9, 2018
The initial policy called for punishing players and teams for any protests during anthems, but at present, it doesn’t look like the league is prepared to enforce it.
As for fans, given Thursday night’s double-digit decline, it’s safe to bet that viewership will continue to decline throughout the season, especially if millionaire players continue to show their disrespect to a country that provides them with an incredible living just to play a game.