The decline of football may simply be inevitable. But even so, it’s probably a bit much to expect an NFL commissioner to say “I guess we’re doomed” and seek meaning in the impending death by sending the league on a suicide charge against racial inequality.

The solution that the league’s owners actually chose was the kind of mushy compromise America used to specialize in, designed to please no one but satisfy everyone. Teams will be fined if their players kneel during the anthem, but players are allowed to stay in the locker room if they don’t want to stand. Except the America where that type of agreement once worked no longer seems to exist; the new rule has merely fanned fresh outrage. The left complained about billionaires suppressing free speech and punishing dissenters and threatening players into showing respect. President Trump, meanwhile, said: “You have to stand proudly for the national anthem or you shouldn’t be playing.”