New York Jets: Reaction to anthem policy may help bring in free agents

Christopher Johnson, New York Jets CEO (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Christopher Johnson, New York Jets CEO (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

The New York Jets CEO Christopher Johnson turned heads with his response to the anthem policy. That response may help bring in free agents.

The national anthem policy has caused quite a stir around the league and the world. The reactions have been all over both sides of the aisle. The New York Jets have been at the forefront of the situation thanks to CEO Christopher Johnson. As we all know, Christopher is Woody Johnson’s brother and has been running the team since Woody was named Ambassador to the UK for the president.

To remind everyone, here is what Johnson said in response (via Newsday):

"“I do not like imposing any club-specific rules,” Johnson said. “If somebody [on the Jets] takes a knee, that fine will be borne by the organization, by me, not the players. I never want to put restrictions on the speech of our players. Do I prefer that they stand? Of course. But I understand if they felt the need to protest. There are some big, complicated issues that we’re all struggling with, and our players are on the front lines. I don’t want to come down on them like a ton of bricks, and I won’t. There will be no club fines or suspensions or any sort of repercussions. If the team gets fined, that’s just something I’ll have to bear.”"

The policy caused reaction from all around the football landscape. There was a great deal of support for Johnson’s decision, along with a faction of fans that are giving up their tickets. The players were quite supportive. For example, look at Jamal Adams‘ response:

The team clearly knows that Christopher Johnson has their back.

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The team is a fan of the reaction, but could it impact the decision of free agents in the future? Could players be more interested in coming to New York, thanks to the player unity with the owner established by Johnson?

Why not?

Without commenting on the issue itself, it is very important to the majority of the players in the league.  It caused such a stir after Colin Kaepernick began the protest that every pregame resulted in scanning the sidelines to see who was kneeling.

It’s important to the players and whether they knelt or not, they had an opinion on it. The majority believe they should have the freedom to act as they please on this issue.

There are many teams that disagree with this. The Jets have now shown to be one that agrees with the players.

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If a free agent is choosing between two teams, the Jets and one of the teams that are behind the NFL policy, the tables may just turn the Jets way. A player that knows the owner has their back is more likely to come to that team than a team that doesn’t. It’s simply human nature.

The point is that Christopher Johnson is making a smart business move by what he is doing, and one we would have to wonder if his brother would have made.