Like the jackasses they are the NFL owners have come up with an incredibly stupid solution to players kneeling during the National Anthem before games.

For the new season, they now demand such players stay in the dressing room or they will be fined if they take a knee on the field during the anthem.

Just as the controversy was petering out and the issue about to fall by the wayside it comes back in full bloom.

I thought of that great gentleman, Dan Rooney of the Steelers, who would never have agreed to such an asinine conclusion and the travesty made of the American anthem.

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Dan Rooney

Dan Rooney

Alas, Dan passed away too soon.

I’ll bet a dollar to a dime that some players will see this new rule as a challenge to their basic First Amendment rights and kneel on the field anyway.

They would be well within their rights to do so.

Let the owners fine them and if they don’t pay, sue them. Any judge worth his salt would dismiss the case instantly on First Amendment grounds.

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The decision shows how out of touch the mostly octogenarian owners are. The days when the big white master could dictate to the black person are long gone but don’t tell that to the tired old titans who just want to profit off the most dangerous field game in the world.

Sixty-eight percent of the NFL players are black and 4 percent Hispanic and Pacific Islanders. A significant number of them will be stricken with Alzheimer's dementia, ALS and other degenerative brain diseases because of the hits and collisions they experience.

Image: PXHere/Creative Commons

Image: PXHere/Creative Commons

They are gladiators, many risking an early death because of the game they play.

For decades the NFL hid the truth about the high probability of such injuries. Now the owners are trying to effectively criminalize the ability to protest.

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My suggestion is the players stay in the locker room and the owners play each other instead. Maybe a few head-to-head collisions would wake them up to reality. Forcing players to listen to the National Anthem behind closed doors is the stupidest possible outcome.

Worse, it’s unworkable.

The singing of The Star-Spangled Banner and the presentation of the flag before the NFC Wild Card Game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Green Bay Packers.Gonzofan 2007/Creative Commons