Why are we still talking about the NFL and The Anthem?
So why does something that would go away on its own keep rearing its ugly head? Is it this era of Social Media where people can't help but overshare?
Or is it because there are a frightening amount of people who need to have something to be outraged or complaining about? We all know by now the NFL, the most popular league in sports had a big problem this past season with publicity surrounding players trying to make a statement about racial injustice which in the current world in which we live---somehow morphed into an outrage by a certain percentage of the public.
The issue had all but faded into the woodwork until just a couple months ago, the NFL Ownership felt compelled to make a public statement about "Anthem Rules"....
Even that had begun to fade out of the public consciousness---until this week.
On Wednesday word came out from of all places--Nashville....where Tennessee Titans Defensive Lineman Jurrell Casey came out and said he's planning on protesting in 2018 and is prepared to pay/deal with whatever fines or repercussions that come with it.
While Casey's stand is admirable---it was also the 1st part of bringing the "Anthem Issue" back into the public eye.
Casey's statement quickly faded into the nether regions of the Internet after word leaked out on Thursday---via the Associated Press saying the Miami Dolphins sent the NFL their 2018 disciplinary procedures/rules and in the document---stated they were prepared to suspend players for up to 4 games for violating the NFL's new rule about protests.
As Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer states in the above Tweet, the proposed suspension statement got um, misinterpreted. It was simply the Dolphins submitting their mandatory list of potential disciplinary issues before Rookies reported to training camp. Which they did on Wednesday.
Nowhere in said document did it single the issue out....
The whole thing led to the NFL and its players association to issue a rare joint statement which was set to come out on Friday---but had to be released a day early due to the Cable News Evil Talking Heads (looking at you Fox and CNN) running amok over the Dolphins statement.
The NFL and NFLPA had been at odds after the league made their initial statement earlier this year regarding "Protest" rules. However both sides sat down and while it took them some time---they agreed the whole process/rules and everything else needed to be looked at more closely.
All this just muddies an already muddy issue that morphed from what it was to something completely different than what it was intended to be.
It's also something that most of us outside observers knew would have faded into the woodwork, made it self just a side note on a Wikipedia page....would have been largely a non-issue in 2018. Partially because it is a new season, partially because the players had by and large decided they'd lost the message and were going to move on to something else.
Instead, it moves back into the god-awful news cycle of inflammatory discussion and talking heads and likely won't go away.
It's unfortunate and a bit tone deaf (IMO)....but hey, I'm not a PR guy, just someone who loves sports and isn't afraid to share my thoughts on them....