With this, I think of how the Fed and states work on some items. NFL (Fed) sets a general policy, but teams (states) get to set the details of how the policy works for their team (state). The team get fined for general policy violations, not the offenders. Teams can institute policies to discipline offenders if they wish, or not, though.
You might well be right. If the networks show players coming out of the locker room running with a raised fist once the anthem has completed, for instance, I can see issues arising once more. (IE: what was player celebrating in the locker room that has him all fired up coming out?)
The league has set policy, and will fine the team. From there, each team gets to set 'their rules'. These may vary from team to team and will create more 'interesting' scenarios on their own. Jets owner also said his team will not pass league fines to the team on to the players (either offenders or the divided up by the team group as a whole).
But the leagues and NFLPA recently finalized an agreement just a couple of days ago to allocate nearly 90 million dollars for Social Justice inequality issues important to the players -
I think owners were hoping this would help alleviate the kneeling or staying in locker room, even though Boldin has always said it isn't about the protests.
To me, compromise often is a policy/agreement that neither party is pleased with. This one might qualify. In addition, teams can institute policies and fines for violating them (missing team flights, meetings etc..) plus they have this that every single Player has on his contract-
PERSONAL CONDUCT POLICY
It is a privilege to be part of the National Football League. Everyone who is part of the league must refrain from "conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the NFL." This includes owners, coaches, players, other team employees, game officials, and employees of the league office, NFL Films, NFL Network, or any other NFL business.
The league released results (right before the Super Bowl) of a poll conducted in 2017 and in 2018. Many issues but Anthem was definitely a large portion -
Advertisers are very much aware of such polls which may well affect future TV contracts, and thus total NFL revenue (which owners and players split). Trust me that financial directors for teams will also monitor things like jersey sales etc.. for those publicized as standing up to policy (pardon the pun) and kneeling anyway.
Employees who work in the public sector (governmental entities) have First Amendment rights in the workplace, but are subject to certain restrictions. Private citizens do not have these same protections.
Employees who work in the private-sector do not, as a rule, have First Amendment protection for their speech in the workplace, but employers need to be aware of not violating things like the Anti Discrimination and Whistle Blower (among other) laws in the process of potentially applying discipline.
The NBA has a stricter policy than the NFL, but the player/owner relationship is significantly better as well.