By Gary McIntyre
The National Football League may need to change its logo from a shield to a white flag.
Because just five days after NFL players and executives made a foolish attempt to stand up to President Donald Trump, it looks like the league is ready to back down.
Dozens of NFL players kneeled in protest during the national anthem this past Sunday, after Trump suggested that players who protest the anthem should be fired.
Trump even promised to call for a boycott if the protests didn’t stop.
Almost immediately, the NFL knew it was in trouble – and now some of the league’s signature teams are promising they’ll begin standing for the anthem again.
The backlash against the NFL was swift and harsh.
Sponsors pulled their advertising. NFL ticket sales were down 18% after the protests.
DIRECTV was reportedly forced to give offended fans refunds on a premium football package. One Indianapolis Colts fan and military veteran even burned his season tickets.
And NFL executives have started taking notice of fans’ outrage.
Denver Broncos General Manager and legendary quarterback John Elway said the football field isn’t the place to play politics. The Broncos, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Green Bay Packers have all announced that they will be standing for the anthem going forward.
And other teams are certain to follow.
“I promise you one thing, this week we will all be standing out there for the national anthem. Trust me,” said Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey.
This comes just one week after the Steelers refused to take the field at all for the national anthem.
Of course, some NFL players may continue their protests. But what seemed like a league-wide coalition just days ago has fallen apart over fan unrest, financial pressures, and criticism from Trump.
This latest win is vintage Trump. He used social media and speeches to communicate directly with his base of millions of Americans, bypassing the mainstream media that largely supported the protests.
The NFL learned the hard way that Trump, as president, still has the most influential bully pulpit in the world.
And he’s not afraid to use it when pampered athletes are disrespecting our country or our flag.