Photo: Phelan M. Ebenhack (AP)

ESPN reports that NFL owners met yesterday to brainstorm ways to prevent their players from protesting against inequality and police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem. Did this crew of mushy billionaires stuffed into ill-fitting suits come up with some horrendously bad ideas? Of course they did!

Here’s the owners’ proposed list of solutions, from ESPN:

  • Allow each team to implement its own policy
  • Clear the field of all football personnel while the anthem is played
  • Instruct players who don’t want to stand to remain in the locker room while the anthem is played
  • Impose penalties on teams and players who do not stand, including a 15-yard penalty and/or fines
  • Add contract language that requires players to stand
  • Leave the current policy in place

What I like about this list is that you can imagine it tracking with the owners getting increasingly fussy throughout the meeting. The first two ideas are perfectly logical solutions, and seem to have been produced by fresh, alert minds. The next one probably came about when the meeting’s runtime was starting to bump up against tee times and folks were getting crabby. The last few were probably the result of a few people in the room having missed their scheduled naps.

The owners are expected to vote on one of these proposals this morning, and it looks like they are leaning in a particular direction:

That’s a better solution than a 15-yard penalty—that was a particularly sinister suggestion, because penalties can’t be grieved by the union like fines can—but it still seems like just dispensing with the NFL’s pregame flag-humping in its entirety would be a much cleaner way to handle things. The league will never do that, of course, because they can’t risk pissing off the dumbest people in America:

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[ESPN]