An NFL mediator finally put the issue of kneeling players to rest. 7th District Court Magistrate Joe Barron, who serves as a middleman for all internal league disputes, ruled that Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin can, at his own discretion, bench any football player he wants for any reason.
The decision is a sweeping reform to football coaching, which typically allows players to appeal head coach decisions to the assistant coaching staff, the team, and, if that doesn’t work, the management. What Tomlin has achieved is a total coachocracy, and on his battlefield, there will be no kneeling during the National Anthem.
“These boys can kneel to the Lord Jesus Christ,” said Tomlin, “or any other God of their choosing. What they can’t do, is kneel and disrespect my great great uncle Keifer Tomlin, who trained Civil War-era cadaver dogs to find dead Confederates so he could sell their belt buckles.”
Around the league, other coaches picked up on Tomlin’s philosophy not just for kneeling, but for the future of coaching in general. Bill Belichick said he intends to try the whole “head coach has complete control” routine the next time an entitled 42-year-old asks him for $30 million, dooming his cap and hopes for the future.