The NFL will not allow its players self-expression that commemorates slain police officers or 9/11, nor to allow its players to raise awareness for breast cancer or domestic abuse, nor to hop, thrust, march in place, or mimic the taking of a photograph. From what we can tell, the only act of self-expression the NFL allows is the protesting the American flag and anthem.
This isn't about free speech, it's about politics and forced conformity with made up divisive agendas. Either you comply with the herd monopoly, or you will be intimidated or bullied out.
The owners had to decide whether they’re going to please their fans (who lean Republican) and risk a player walk out (because such a high percentage of NFL players are black and actually believe the nonsense coming out of BLM) -- of if they would side with their unpatriotic and racist players (over the fans and nation). They would be financially harmed by either decision, but this one meant they had the media on their side, even if truth and integrity was on the other one.
Missing the point that millionaires shouldn't antagonize their sponsors and audiences, many owners and players went full retard:
- At least Roethlisberger gets it: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/trump-supports-booing-players-who-kneel-national-anthem-1042616
- Idiot argues that they didn't ask for this, when all they had to do was ignore it and it would have gone away (just like Trump could have done): http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2017/09/26/steelers-ramon-foster-we-didnt-ask-for-this/
- NFL Chose sides in culture war (and succeeds at alienating much of their audience):
- Even the far left, recognizes the NFL's hypocrisy: https://theintercept.com/2017/09/25/colin-kaepernick-nfl-national-anthem-protest-donald-trump/
- NFL Hates America: http://www.breitbart.com/sports/2017/09/25/nfl-hates-america-9-pieces-proof/
- Stop pretending it's about free speech: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2017/09/can_we_please_stop_pretending_the_nfl.html