Titans Hide In The Locker Room

Monday, September 25, 2017

This Sunday, as has been widely reported, the Tennessee Titans and the Seattle Seahawks both chose to remain in their respective locker rooms during the playing of the National Anthem at Nissan Stadium.  Besides the fact that the NFL game operations manual has a rule regarding player behavior during the playing of the National Anthem which requires them to stand at attention facing the flag on the sidelines and refraining from talking, I am amazed that the NFL commissioner and the owners seem to be acquiescing to the players' behavior while in uniform and at their place of work.  All of these protests are occurring while TV viewership (hence lower ad revenues) and overall league attendance is trending down.  I believe that there is a strong linkage between the protests and downward trend of NFL popularity.  When politics and sports are mixed, the result is seldom good and the NFL brand has been badly tarnished of late. 

I really don't have a problem with anyone peacefully protesting for a cause, but I believe the players are using the wrong forum for their protest.  In other words, if the players wish to protest, they should do it on their own time.  

By the way, major kudos to Steelers player and Army vet, Alejandro Villanueva, for courageously coming out of tunnel and showing his respect to the flag and the National Anthem while the other Steeler players and coaches refused to come out. 

Having said all that, I don't really believe that these protests on the field or in the locker room are going to go away soon given the owners' support for the players.  But as Will Rogers once said, "When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging."  The Titans and the NFL should stop digging. 

Jim Nelson

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