NFL owners, cognizant that the kneeling-during-the-anthem protests are hurting their league, are looking for a solution, but the one being floated now has already been panned by President Donald Trump, an outspoken critic on the issue.
According to The Washington Post, NFL owners are considering having players stay in the locker room next season. The Post cites people familiar with the ongoing talks.
“I think that if players are still kneeling at the end of the year, then it could very well happen,” said one person familiar with the owners’ deliberations on anthem-related issues.
That person said it was “too early to tell” for certain if the change to the anthem policy will be made by owners and the league. The person was “not sure” if a formal vote of the owners would be required to enact such a change but said, “I think most owners would support it, particularly if players continue to kneel this season.”
But it is not too early for President Trump to weigh in. Trump took to Twitter to say staying in the locker rooms was almost as bad as kneeling and called on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to get tough.
The NFL is now thinking about a new idea - keeping teams in the Locker Room during the National Anthem next season. That’s almost as bad as kneeling! When will the highly paid Commissioner finally get tough and smart? This issue is killing your league!.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2017
While the NFL refused to comment, The Post cited several sources around the league who said something must be done and that the issue could be a major agenda item during the league's annual meetings in March.
There are a trio of games on Thanksgiving Day that should be a major draw for the league and broadcasters, although the drop in ratings for the NFL during the anthem controversy has been well documented.