If the NFL won’t stop its players from disrespecting the flag, then maybe Congress should take a second look at some of the federal benefits the NFL enjoys. For example, the NFL gets a special antitrust exemption in U.S. law. Democrats in Congress have already been debating whether the league should be stripped of this exemption because of its weak response to domestic violence allegations against players. Perhaps Republicans angry over anthem protests will now be willing to join them? And this might also be a good time for some public hearings into the NFL’s efforts to interfere with concussion research at the National Institutes of Health.

Last year, National Hockey League coach John Tortorella declared, “If any of my players sit on the bench for the national anthem, they will sit there the rest of the game.”