Now that's a story worthy of being called news. If only the media isn't attention whoring all the time. Nice to know where funds will go
I really don't think free speech enters into it. Being a pro football player is a job. It's a cool job that a lucky few guys get paid a lot of money for but it's still a job and (like 99.9999% of all jobs) isn't based on a person's individual desires. As it stands now this is only an issue because player contracts haven't been written to include a specific behavior clause covering this issue. You can be sure that they will in the future. In the interim I think NFL owners should be able to dictate to employees how they behave in the public eye because their behavior affects the face which the NFL presents to the public and directly impacts revenue. At the same time I also support the right of the employee union to try and change that. Even so, the NFL owners would be well advised to arrive at a negotiated peace with the players since the optics of this whole fiasco are making them unpopular across increasingly diverse demographics. People have somehow confused a work dispute with "patriotism" or "social justice". It has nothing to do with either. It's a tempest in a tea cup. Interestingly, from a 2015 article on sbnation.com "According to the NFL, about $4 million per year has gone to help former players and fines currently go to the NFL Player Care Foundation and the Gene Upshaw Players Association's Player Assistance Trust. While players often request their fines go to a specific charity or cause, the NFL doesn't cater to those requests and doesn't divert funds away from the two agreed upon organizations to help former players". I don't know how current this policy is, or how it affects team fines, but it looks like it might be a win/win for players who kneel if team money ends up helping retired players.
What's bizarre is that this is a news story in itself. Let's get the match on and stop focusing on the wrong things