The NFL will never give up the National Anthem — here’s why

Earl O. Hutchinson | 10/20/2017, 6 a.m.

Then there’s the NFL’s majority fan base. They have made it clear in informal polls, surveys, and by raining loud boos down on the relative handful of NFL players that have knelt during the national anthem that they will have no regard for any player who “disrespects” the flag. Many go much further than Jones and are not content with benching them, but want them out of the league. They certainly have made that clear about the man who started it all, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. They don’t want him in the league, and the owners have heard them. They listened to them and blackballed Kap because they are the ones who pack stadiums and plop down tens of millions for tickets and assorted NFL paraphernalia.

Some players, some sportscasters, some elected officials, and all civil libertarians will shout that compelling NFL players to stand for the national anthem is crass, crude, employer bullying and a blatant disregard of the First Amendment. They’re right. But the brutal reality is that the NFL power brokers have the supreme dominance to enforce their “take it or leave it” dictate on the players, and a big part of that will remain standing bolt upright for the national anthem.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst.