Owners of the 32 National Football League teams will meet with some of the players and union representatives today, ahead of the regularly scheduled Fall League Meeting. The national anthem protests will be the first topic of discussion.
If the NFL has its way, the 11 players who still sat or took a knee for the national anthem at Sunday’s games will be the last.
Leading the agenda at the NFL’s fall meeting starting Tuesday will be a discussion on how the league can stop the take-a-knee protests stoking fan outrage without incurring a backlash from players who have refused to stand during the anthem.
Some football fans, including President Trump, have accused the players of disrespecting the military.
The protests are blitzing the NFL’s bottom line. Ratings have tumbled by 7 percent through the first five weeks of the 2017 season versus last season, according to Nielsen data.
Also in decline are the number of protesters. After nearly 200 sat or knelt three weeks ago in response to criticism from President Trump, fewer than a dozen did so on Sunday, an indication that even the players may be ready to move on.