The NFL has issued a new policy on the National Anthem. In a nutshell: stand and honor the flag or stay in the locker room. The question, once again, is whether or not they should have intervened in the first place. Any parent knows that the best way to encourage behavior you don't like is to forbid it. I'll be right up front: I don't like it when people protest the National Anthem. You can read my blog on the issue for my clarification if you'd like. However, as a private business? The NFL should let the owners and fans decide the issue.
First, NFL players, like any American, have the right to peaceably protest, on the field if they choose. Don't get mad--or agree--just yet. There's more.
Owners of NFL teams, as private citizens and owners of private businesses, have the right to allow the players to continue the protests, or not continue the protests, so long as they are willing to accept the consequences that result from that decision. I believe the fans, as consumers of this product we call football, will settle the dispute, one way of the other.
NFL fans--and this includes President Donald Trump (who has been VERY outspoken about this issue)--also have a right to disagree with the protests. If NFL fans disagree with the protests, for whatever reason, they have the right to express that view--by "protesting the protests"--by demanding that individual team owners not allow them, and hold players accountable for their actions if they continue (fines, suspensions, termination of contracts, etc.), as a condition for their continued support. If the owners refuse, these fans can justifiably withhold their support from those teams--and the NFL--as the free expression of their disapproval.
NFL fans also have the right to agree with those protests. They can demand owners embrace the "cause" and allow the players to express themselves during the National Anthem, in the locker room, or on the field, without the threat of sanctions. These fans have the right to increase their support of NFL teams and the league if the owners do this, and withdraw their support if they don't.
There is going to be a price to pay regardless of which side you choose. If you are a person of conviction, you will pay it. Maybe you agree with the protests and maybe you don't, but none of us has the right to choose for anyone else.