We have a big fan of the NFL in the office. He was at the Wembley game on Sunday 24th September 2017 and witnesses many of the players kneeling as the USA anthem was played. They all stood for ours.
The issue for these guys is racial problems in the USA, not a disrespect of what the USA stands for. What is interesting is the way the owners (the majority of whom are white) are backing the players in their their decision to peacefully demonstrate. Whilst Trump condemns these players the sporting community seems more forgiving and understanding. Standing for the USA anthem is enshrined in law – the Flag Code – as is facing the flag if it is present and placing the hand over the heart, so these players are technically breaking the law.
It shows how management have such a pivotal role to play in the lives of the employee. There is a real balance to work/life and anybody who ignores this does so at their long term peril. Where the current situation will end up is all to be seen, but from one player in 2016 it has now evoked a reaction from the President and all the teams are becoming embroiled in the ongoing issue.