Not since 1987 has there been a player strike in the NFL that actually went on during the regular season. But the recent national anthem policy enacted by the league may be something that causes the latest in-season work stoppage.
The new anthem policy, however, is not the only thing that may cause a player strike in the NFL this year.
Recently, The Intercept’s Shaun King reported that a number of star players around the league are thinking about not playing in 2018 until both Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid are offered NFL contracts.
BREAKING: Several star @NFL players have told me they are considering sitting out the season until the de facto ban of Eric Reid and Colin Kaepernick is removed and both men are given spots back on rosters.
They aim to get 25% of the players to sit out with them.
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) May 27, 2018
Now, what King defines as a “star” player is not entirely known. But in order for any sort of player strike to be successful in 2018, it has have participation from some of the NFL’s most notable performers.
Guys like Eric Berry, Antonio Brown, DeAndre Hopkins, Julio Jones, Von Miller, Cam Newton, Josh Norman, Patrick Peterson, and Russell Wilson would have to lead the movement in order for it to have any kind of impact.
Not only are these players some of the league’s most popular at this point in time, they are all still vital parts of their team’s success. Their absence would likely have a tremendously negative impact on their team’s performance.
One may have already noticed, but all of the above players mentioned are also African-American.
There’s no reason to beat around the bush or ignore the obvious when it comes to the NFL’s new national anthem policy. The league’s rich, white owners agreed to a policy that is essentially a reaction to black players protesting to raise awareness for police brutality against African-Americans and other racial inequalities.
Yes, there have been some white players who have knelt or participated in an anthem protest, but the majority have been black. If people don’t believe this new anthem policy has anything to do with race, then they are doing themselves a huge disservice.
The egos of some of the NFL’s owners have become so out of control that they actually believe they are the reason for the team’s success and not the players. This was made more clear than ever when the NFLPA was not even consulted before the enactment of the league’s new anthem policy.
If players like the ones mentioned above were to go on strike, some of the owners may quickly realize how vital they are to their franchise making a profit each year.
Realistically, the required impact to create any sort of change would likely have to come from the NFL being forced to cancel games. If a player strike is unable to cause these results, than the league’s owners will just continue to treat their players more like property and less like actual human beings.