While I fully support a person’s 1st amendment rights to free speech, I have some thoughts as a small business owner and a former employee that I will leave you with.
When we go to work for an employer, we go to work knowing there are certain dress codes and behaviors we need to follow at our place of employment. In addition, we as employees, while on the clock, are representatives of the employer or business. One thing many employers do not allow their employees to do is express political thought in the context of representing the business. That is done on the employee’s own time and not on the clock.
When these football players, coaches, and other staff are at the games, they are on the clock. They are employees of the NFL and the NFL teams. They wear the uniform as directed. They even wear the right colors for whether it is a home game or not. They were the equipment they are given even if they feel it is unnecessary. They follow the rules of conduct on the field. They follow the rules of play or suffer the consequences of penalties or ejection. They even follow the rules of conduct when there is a touchdown. So, while they are “on the clock,” they should follow ALL the rules of conduct of NFL employees including standing during the National Anthem. At the very least they should stand while the Anthem is being played/sung.
And shame on the NFL for not enforcing that piece of decorum. They enforce a whole host of other rules, some much minor than this. If they continue to let players argue that it is their right NOT to stand during the anthem, then those same players can argue their right to express their joy with any sort of dance at getting a touchdown. After all, we are talking about the 1st amendment.
If NFL players want to express their displeasure at some political ideology or action, they have that right, and because many of them are famous, they have a platform that most Americans do not. But these players should express themselves on their own time and not use their employers’ time to express themselves.