Fining teams whose players kneel during the anthem isn’t “punishing dissent,” it’s the people who sign the front of the players’ sizable checks exerting the authority inherent in any employer/employee relationship.
Players have six other days of the week, and 21 other hours on the day of games, not to mention the months they have off, to protest whatever they want in any matter they choose. They’re celebrities in their towns, they don’t lack access to media willing to report on anything they do. But when they punch the clock, they should leave their personal agendas in the locker room and do their jobs.
President Trump didn’t create the disgust fans felt; he recognized it.