MN Rep. Keith Ellison boycotting NFL over new national anthem policy

In an attempt to neutralize the polarizing controversy over NFL players kneeling or sitting during the national anthem, NFL owners approved a new policy requiring players to stand for the anthem if they are on the field and if they do not, they will subject their teams to a fine. The policy gives players the option to remain in the locker room during the anthem if they prefer.

NFL owners feel the altered anthem policy is a “compromise that will end sitting or kneeling with an edict that stops short of requiring every player to stand.” The NFL suffered a decline in viewership and ticket sales last season, which has been attributed to the take-a-knee protests.

Is the NFL’s new rule enough to bring back viewers? Will it just cause a different group of fans to protest the ban on the protests? And if so, will this matter?

As my colleague Tom Steward wrote, countless politicians jumped on the kneelers’ bandwagon. Minnesota’s Rep. Keith Ellison was one of them, and he recently explained on Twitter he will boycott the NFL this year because of the “unfair cowardly and idiotic kneeling ban.” Ellison is also the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee.

According to a recent poll, 53 percent of self-described NFL viewers said they support the policy, with 32 percent opposing. Forty-eight percent of the general public approve, with 32 percent against.

Minnesota Vikings fans, what say you?