Originally posted by @duchess64
"if ... there was a rule requiring him to stand at games."
Can Quackquack cite anything in the NFL collective bargaining agreement that
requires NFL players to stand at attention during the playing of national anthems?
According to Time magazine “The league’s Game Operations Department uses the manual to govern the conduct of home clubs, to ensure they protect players and provide the conditions for a fair and fan-friendly contest,” reads the NFL’s website. “Clubs face warnings and other penalties for noncompliance.”
The NFL rulebook makes no mention of the national anthem. But the game operations manual does.
Here’s what the game operations manual says regarding the national anthem, according to an NFL spokesperson:
The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem.
During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses."
Thus, it seems that there may or may not be a basis for punishment. Personally, both sides botched the incident. The NFL has not helped by flaming the issue. The protesters have not helped their cause by offending those who are overly attached to the flag. Since the players and the owners share profits, offending the general public hurts their bottom line. A different form of protest or specific actions to help the problems the protesters were trying to highlight would have been far more effective.