Not everybody is happy with the NFL’s recent decision to fine players who protest the national anthem.
New York Jets chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson said on Wednesday that he’s willing to pay the fines for every player on his roster who kneels, sits or otherwise protests the anthem before kickoff. (RELATED: NFL To Require Players To Stand For National Anthem Or Stay In Locker Room)
“I do not like imposing any club-specific rules,” Johnson said shortly after the NFL’s decision went public. “If somebody [on the Jets] takes a knee, that fine will be borne by the organization, by me, not the players. I never want to put restrictions on the speech of our players. Do I prefer that they stand? Of course. But I understand if they felt the need to protest. There are some big, complicated issues that we’re all struggling with, and our players are on the front lines. I don’t want to come down on them like a ton of bricks, and I won’t. There will be no club fines or suspensions or any sort of repercussions. If the team gets fined, that’s just something I’ll have to bear.”
Later, Johnson added, “Even without those fines, this is going to be tough on the players, and I want a chance to speak with the coaches and other players to get feedback on this policy and to build on the good work and momentum that we have built up on these issues of social justice, on legislation, and all the things that we can do.”
You have to be a grade A moron to 1.) not realize that making players stand for the anthem is what most of America wants and 2.) think nobody’s going to take advantage of this. He basically just announced that he’s giving out free money to the NFL.
Now the league is going to be watching his every move to see where else they can fine him. It’s not even like he’s the CEO of a good team. It would be one thing if this were the owner of a team with a better record than 5-11. But literally nobody cares about the Jets, and any public interest that they did have remaining from last season just took a nose dive. You hate to see that.
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