The NFL season is fast approaching and training camp is just weeks away. Fantasy football podcasts are climbing up the charts and fan optimism is at an all-time high. Even for Browns fans! That optimism in Cleveland may not be warranted, as the team seems very focused on making spoofs of The Office instead of football.
Football is Back
As I was saying, football is coming back and we’re starting the year new. No drama. No controversies. Everyone is super happy.
Just kidding! We can’t have nice things. On a slow Thursday in July, when sports outlets are so hungry for news they’re reporting on Jimmy Garoppolo going on a date with a porn star, the Miami Dolphins dropped this from the clouds:
GREAT! Back to the kneeling. Wonderful.
The NFL’s Policy on Kneeling
For those of you who stopped paying attention to kneeling-during-the-anthem-gate since the Super Bowl (I don’t blame you), here is your summary:
- During the NFL Owners meeting in May there was a three hour closed-door session for the owners to discuss important things like concussions, healthcare for players, equitable revenue sharing models…just kidding they talked about people kneeling during the Anthem and what the hell they were going to do with these hooligans.
- On May 23rd, 2018 the NFL released a statement backed by all 32 owners stating that the NFL is anti-kneeling and would require players to stand during the Anthem. They also updated the rule requiring all players to be on the field during the Anthem, so players could voice their displeasure with their absence.
- In the same statement the NFL highlighted three major things:
- The league will fine teams if players don’t respect the flag during the Anthem
- Teams can create their own “work rules” for players that don’t show respect
- The Commissioner (Goodell) can also “impose appropriate discipline” on players and staff that do not follow the rules.
The Miami Dolphins’ Proper Anthem Conduct Policy
And that brings us to today, with the Miami Dolphins becoming the first team to outline their “work rules” when it comes to Anthem standing. Under Miami’s “Proper Anthem Conduct” policy, players can be fined for disrespecting the Anthem and/or can be suspended for four games. That four-game suspension part is what bothers me the most. It is what has bothered me about the NFL for so long.
The NFL Would Make an AWFUL Parent
There is no consistency in the punishments the NFL gives out. Josh Brown admitted to domestic assault and initially got a one-game suspension. Tom Brady maybe knew about some under-inflated footballs and got four games. Ray Rice was suspended two games for his infamous domestic assault case. Josh Gordon was suspended indefinitely for being a highly functioning pothead. And now a player for the Dolphins might get suspended four games for kneeling during the Anthem? If the NFL was a parent the kids would be on edge 24/7.
Kid: “Mom, I ran over the neighbor’s cat. On purpose”
NFL: “Ooo you little rascal! That’ll be one whole night no TV, mister!”
Kid: “Mom, I broke my pencil while writing the 40th page of my paper on what a good parent you are.”
NFL: “YOU SHALL NEVER SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY AGAIN!”
So, here we are, approaching a new NFL season. And within one day I went from listening to a fantasy football podcast and day dreaming about lazy NFL Sundays, to wondering just how incompetent Goodell and co. must really be. Thanks a lot, Miami.
I love this sport. I wish we could focus more on how terrified Ben Roethlisberger should be of Myles Garrett and less on how many games you should suspend a player for voicing their opinion.
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