But like it or not, this is the fight the NFL now faces. As much as the league says it wants to work with its players on the very significant issues some are highlighting with their bended knees and locked arms, it can’t when a human noise machine with a cell phone continues to pound away from the vast beyond.

So, what to do? There’s a very simple answer: Go back to the days before 2009 when teams were not required to come out of the locker room until after the anthem was played (except for the Super Bowl and after 9/11).

With no players on the field, the anthem will go on, fans will stand at attention or stand in line for nachos or run in from the parking lot or do whatever it is they do during the anthem, and the controversy — at least the visible part of it — will be over.