NFL team owners were wrong in agreeing to punish football players that kneel during the national anthem, infers the editorial board of The New York Times. Trump has used the protest to rile up his supporters and demonize the athletes. It's a failure on the NFL's part, to bow to his rhetoric rather than stand up for its employees and their right to free speech. Team owners showed a similarly disappointing mentality when allegedly colluding to keep Colin Kaepernick out of a job for having inspired the kneeling protest. Now that kneeling will be punished, players should protest by raising their fists or holding signs during the anthem to show that their voices won't be silenced.
Politics doesn't belong in sports, holds Frank Miniter of Fox News. NFL players kneeling during the national anthem was a provocative and divisive protest that had nothing to do with football. The decision to punish this behavior is a good one, and doesn’t infringe on the players’ freedom of speech. They are employees of the NFL and must conduct themselves as such. Protesting while at work is not okay. Sports have always been a hugely uniting force. People of all backgrounds and beliefs can enjoy them together. The protests broke this spell, sowing division amongst fans. If players still want to protest during the anthem, they can stay in the locker room.