Philadelphia Eagles chose not to soar, but to bore

President Trump called an audible Monday and told the Philadelphia Eagles not to suit up and show up at The White House for the traditional photo-op after winning the Super Bowl.

“The Philadelphia Eagles are unable to come to the White House with their full team to be celebrated tomorrow,” the White House said in a statement late Monday. “They disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country. The Eagles wanted to send a smaller delegation, but the 1,000 fans planning to attend the event deserve better.”

President Trump followed up that official announcement with a tweet saying: “The Philadelphia Eagles Football Team was invited to the White House. Unfortunately, only a small number of players decided to come, and we canceled the event. Staying in the Locker Room for the playing of our National Anthem is as disrespectful to our country as kneeling. Sorry!”

This appears to be the hill the NFL wishes to die on. The league and its commissioner Roger Goodell just don’t get the fact that most of the TV and stadium audiences for a pro football game voted for Trump.

Many Americans have turned their backs on the league since this National Anthem protest began and continues with the league sanctioning the protest by recently announcing that players can stay in the locker room if they do not wish to stand at attention.

I have written exhaustively on this subject. When these players show up at stadia across the nation on Sunday afternoons or the four other dates the league has spread out to, they are at the workplace. Who else in America has the right to act as they wish in the workplace? I can’t.

I have to abide by the decorum of the office in dress, manner, language and behavior. If I chose not to act accordingly, I could be fired for cause.

Not these players, the ones who wish to disrespect the flag and country for a cause. It’s just not the time or place.

If you want to further the conversation, then take your new-found stardom and protest and speak up outside the stadium. You have plenty of free time during the week after practice to speak your mind and organize other like-minded players and people.

So The President has every right as Commander-in-Chief to defend the flag in this instance.

And the NFL and Roger Goodell had better get this under control before this season or my prophesy that I wrote for The New York Post in January 2016 may be too optimistic.

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NFL Anthem option play thrown for a loss

So the NFL owners have decided that it’s more important to show unity than honoring the flag and what it stands for.

In a decision that pleases no one who believes in the First Amendment, players who do not wish to honor the flag by standing are excused from the former rule — that said every player must be on the field during the National Anthem — and can remain in the locker room.

If a player or coach is on the field, then they will stand or be subject to a team/league fine.

“We believe today’s decision will keep our focus on the game and the extraordinary athletes who play it — and on our fans who enjoy it,” commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement.

And like any ruling meant to please both sides, this move by the owners placates neither side.

As I wrote in the past, even as a journalist, I do not have a First Amendment right to do whatever I wish in the work place. I cannot write whatever I want and I cannot act anyway I want.

This is the core point: The NFL players are in the workplace on game day. Office rules apply.

Well to show how contentious the issue is, no sooner had the measure been announced than New York Jets Chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson said the team would support the players right to choose as far as  kneeling goes, and would not issue any team fines and would pay for league penalties.

So while the NFL said the measure was passed unanimously, ironically San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York abstained from the vote. York’s ex-QB Colin Kaepernick ignited this action in 2016 as a way to bring attention to the plight of young African-American men and their plight within the criminal justice system.