NFL: Owners and Players


Grace Elson

Official NFL Football

The NFL has had a lot of controversy between owners and players. One of the most talked about being whether or not players should be allowed to protest during the National Anthem while on the field. For the 2018 season, team owners were allowed to decide their own policy for how players kneeling would be handled. It is difficult for owners and players to reach agreements when they care about different things.

Former San Francisco 49ers, Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid began protesting on August 26, 2016. Reid and Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem in protest of how African Americans and minorities are treated by law enforcement in the United States. At the time this was in the news all over the country with some people saying that these players were disrespecting the flag and also the veterans who had fought for this country. Other veterans were shown on the news saying that these two players had the right to protest and as veterans, they actually fought to protect Americans’ right to protest.

After this scandal, there was a meeting where NFL owners and players all came together to discuss their problems. According to the New York Times, in the meeting, team owners were very worried about the attacks on the NFL like fan viewership dropping and team jerseys being burned. They were worried about the potential money loss that could be coming. On the other hand, the NFL players were more worried about why players protesting were not getting public support from the team owners and why Kaepernick was being blackballed by the NFL.

After researching further into this topic I believe that it is impossible to come to an agreement when two groups care about different things. It showed in the meeting that the owners care more about money and how to keep a good public image and the players care more about their fellow players and how to help each other. The players put themselves above all else and the owners did the same. In the New York Times article, it was stated that Houston Texans owner Bob McNair said, “You fellas need to ask your compadres, fellas, stop that other business, let’s go out and do something that really produces positive results, and we’ll help you.” I believe that this shows that the owners will allow players to do good things, but only if it does not bring controversy or compromise the money being made and I think that is wrong.

Mr. Curtis, AVID and Speech and Debate teacher, is a big viewer of the NFL and said that he watches football every week during the season. When asked about what his thoughts were on players kneeling, he said that he believed it was ridiculous. Curtis said that it is ridiculous because when players kneel during the National Anthem they are disrespecting the men and women who have served this country. Curtis also said that he thinks it is good when players who actually work in their communities to help people and donate some of their millions of dollars to the causes they are protesting about. When asked about what he thought about Sherman’s comments about Jerry Jones having an “old plantation mentality” he said that it was a bad thing to say because getting paid to play football for millions of dollars should never be compared with anything that has to do with slavery.

In the end, when two groups care about completely different things it is impossible to agree on all topics. I believe that there needs to be compromise and team owners need to better support their players so that the NFL can use its huge platform to make some really good change in communities all around the United States.