The National Football League has indicated there will be “no change” in its policy on player conduct during the national anthem, despite a campaign to boycott Sunday’s games over kneeling during the song.
Boycott The NFL, a Facebook page on the national anthem issue, has called for supporters to tune out Sunday games “in solidarity with veterans around the country. So far, 22,000 people have indicated on Facebook that they will turn off the TV for games.
The conservative watchdog group 2ndVote also asked fans to “stiff-arm the NFL.”
“We’re sending the National Football League, its corporate sponsors, and the television networks a message this Veterans Day weekend!” said a 2ndVote statement. “Americans are sick of the disrespectful National Anthem protests that the NFL has not only allowed to continue, but has institutionalized in pregame ceremonies.
“Remember, several of the companies that do business with the NFL like DirecTV and Anheuser-Busch have signaled just how bad of a PR disaster the protests have been,” said 2ndVote. “Join us this weekend and we’ll hit the NFL and all of its sponsors where it counts!”
There are signs that the player kneel-downs and other protests are waning. The Seattle Seahawks stood during the national anthem for Thursday’s away game against the Arizona Cardinals. About six to eight Seahawks players had been sitting or kneeling during the anthem, but defensive end Michael Bennett (one of the leading kneelers) said the team decided to stand as a show of support for the military in honor of Veterans Day.
The NFL Players Association said a two-minute moment of silence for veterans will be observed today, and other ceremonies are planned.
Deadline will update on any national anthem protest actions throughout the day.