TTU professors discuss NFL's policy on National Anthem kneeling

TTU professors discuss NFL's policy on National Anthem kneeling

Posted:
LUBBOCK, Texas -

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has made it clear. Players will either stand during the National Anthem, or stay in the locker room.
If they kneel, the league will fine the team.

Matt Huml, a sports management professor at Texas Tech, says the players will still make their voices heard.  

"The Players Association is probably having a conversation about if there's another way they can capture the medium of millions of people watching NFL games every Sunday to see if they can still try to bring a greater awareness to their social justice issues. Now it's just a question of if they will be able to," Huml said.

Critics, including President Trump, claim the kneeling caused the NFL's ratings to drop in the last year. Huml doesn't think the demonstrations played a big role in the decline. 

"From the data I've seen, a lot of fans say this isn't changing their viewership habits. It's one of those things that people have a very strong opinion on but I don't think it's changing how much they're viewing any football," Huml said. 

Texas Tech law professor Richard Rosen says the NFL isn't infringing anyone's rights. 

"I know of no statutory or constitutional violation by requiring players to stand or giving them the option of not coming out during the National Anthem. It certainly doesn't violate the First Amendment of the Constitution," Rosen said. 

Huml says it's up to the players to find another way to fight social injustice.    

"If you told me right now the Players Association had found another medium, then potentially this conversation would continue. My guess is you'll see a lot of anger on social media but until another medium comes out it could be pretty tricky," Huml said. 

The new policy will take effect next season. 

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