A follow up

The rules are found on pages A62-63 of the league’s game operations manual:

The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem.

During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.

Jim's note - It looks like the NFL is mimicking Barack Obama's take on immigration law. When it doesn't fit your narrative, ignore your own written rules.

Avoid pissing contests with skunks

© 2016 Jim Spence - There is an old saying. Don’t get into a pissing contest with a skunk. You both will get hit, and the skunk will like it.
For several decades the GOP found itself in battle with progressive skunks. GOP politicians have never quite known how to deal with them, since outside of Fox News the progressive skunks have thousands of friends in the media. In short, these progressive bullies have gotten their way in America for some time now with very few cultural victories had by those who dare to challenge them.
Along comes Donald Trump. The first thing Trump did in his new career as a politician last year was to engage in high profile pissing contests with Republican candidates. Both Trump and his targets seem to have gotten hit, but Trump liked it and he won easily. Not sure? Just ask Jeb Bush.
Before we explore the latest pissing contest between Trump and NFL players and teams who held the mistaken notion they could get political at football games without being called out, there are some things about the NFL that most people do not know. The NFL made a deal with Obama’s Defense Department a few years back to “Support the Troops.” The Defense Department handed over tens of millions of dollars to NFL owners to “stage shows” of their patriotism in the hopes for the D.O.D. that it would be easier to recruit. Before these deals were made, many NFL teams stayed inside during the playing of the national anthem to talk strategy. However, once the taxpayer money went into NFL coffers, the NFL made it mandatory that every player be on the field during the anthem. Essentially, the NFL sold images of players applauding military heroes, who were introduced prior to the anthem. So.......just in case you think the NFL decided to be a little more patriotic on its own, think again. They got paid to put on a show. And a portion of this money ultimately made its way into the pockets of the players in the revenue sharing deals their union made with the owners. Only in America can you sell faux patriotism at an enormous profit.
If there is one thing that we can all agree on it is this: Trump loves to fight. And the NFL, which wanted to have things both ways, finally got called out on its incredible hypocrisy. Trump, like many of us, became disgusted with the politicizing of football. But unlike the rest of us, Trump is in a position to expose the way in which the players and the teams wanted to litigate their partisan politics right before kickoffs.
The clueless NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and about 150 clueless players took the bait yesterday. However, not every player took the bait. It seems that Pittsburgh Steeler coach Mike Tomlin wanted every Steeler to stay in the locker room yesterday to avoid the "appearance" of being involved in a pissing contest. It was sort of a pissing, without actually claiming you are pissing sort of strategy. Tomlin wanted to do a passive-aggressive piss at the national anthem, if you will. Apparently, the consensus to do this was REJECTED by U.S. Army veteran Alejandro Villanueva. Villanueva, a Steeler, was not having any of it. The three Afghanistan-tour veteran left the Steeler locker room by himself, and stood visibly in the tunnel with his hand over his heart while the anthem played. The image was startling and not at all what the would be pissers in the NFL wanted to see. It was however, precisely what pisser in Chief Trump wanted to see. The progressive Democrat media is going berserk with this battle as is Fox. 
Rest assured Trump is going to win this tussle. The NFL was already suffering from declining ratings thanks to its politicizing. Now the NFL finds that the spotlight is shining brightly on what they have been doing. And instead of the players finding more appropriate forums for expressing their political views, they have doubled down on stupidity with more than 150 scurrying out into the open.
Watch how free markets work here. Contrary to what the players think, nobody “has to” watch the NFL games and nobody “has to” buy a ticket to watch them live. The markets are about to teach the NFL that it is not “entitled” to scoop billions of dollars out of the U.S. economy. Instead, the NFL must re-earn customer loyalty. Predictions?
Watch for season ticket sales to plummet next year. Watch for advertisers to re-think the bloated prices they have to pay to align themselves with the NFL, a venue that is starting to reek. Ad prices on NFL games are going to plunge followed by bids for rights to broadcast the games.
Something about the NFL was starting to stink last year. We all thought it was just Colin Kaepernick. The stench spread. And now the entire NFL, minus Alejandro Villaneuva, smells like a skunk. It would seem that the NFL has chosen to get into a pissing contest with a skunk.