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Even more insidious, the referees on the field won’t care either. Why should they? Their ruling can be overturned for no reason anyone can see. Little by little, they’ll develop an attitude that does not value what happens on the field, and that discounts what they contribute to the game. They’ll just try to guess what the word from New York will be.
If he wants to force them to behave a certain way during public rites like the national anthem, why doesn’t he simply line up a bunch of dummies at the sideline during the music? If he puts helmets on his dummies, television cameras and fans can’t tell the difference.
Let everyone in the stands show kneeling players a sign of support during the national anthem. Salute them. It takes courage. You won’t be a son of a bitch.