Standing is a sign of respect

Should citizens of the United States stand during the playing or singing of the national anthem?

Yes, it is a sign of respect.

If the tune does not move you, that’s fine. It is simply a sign of respect.

Should NFL players stand for the anthem at the beginning of games?

Yes, in this case, the act of respect is also part of the job — required by team owners.

Recently, the owners reaffirmed this rule and reasserted their authority.

Many football fans wonder what took them so long.

Even so, the owners have given the players an out — they can stay in the locker room until the anthem has sounded.

And why should owners give the players any choice?

Why not simply say: We pay you a great deal of money. We require, as part of the job, while you are on the job, that you stand for the anthem.

The owners might add what a lot of American feel: It’s not a lot to ask.

Sportscasters are in the bad habit of calling professional football players “warriors.” Warriors are people who go to war — laying down their lives for their country; for us.

Standing for the anthem is a tribute to actual warriors.

But, hey, if some NFL players feel that the gesture of kneeling during the anthem is vital to social justice, let them pay the fines that the league will now impose on them for doing so. Let’s see how many of them do. Their union says kneeling during the anthem is a matter of free speech. And that it is, albeit free speech at the workplace and on the bosses’ time.

Free speech always has a cost. And it is always worth the cost — when the speaker has something to say.