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Anchor Drop, May 24, 2018: 100 days until kickoff

Vanderbilt opens the 2018 football season against MTSU on September 1.

NCAA Football: Vanderbilt at Middle Tennessee Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning.

Today is May 24, which marks 100 days until Vanderbilt kicks off its 2018 football season, if you’re into such things. We’ve tried to distract ourselves from football over the last few months, but with the summer coming up there won’t be a whole lot to do around here except look forward to next season. To the extent that we have something to look forward to, I guess.

Vanderbilt women’s tennis may have come up just short in the team competition, but three Commodores competed in the singles competition that started yesterday. Astra Sharma and Fernanda Contreras won their matches in the round of 64, though Christina Rosca lost. Sharma and Contreras will also be competing in the doubles competition beginning tomorrow.

The soccer team has pictures from their trip to Japan. Look, it’s a slow news day, all right?

Tweet of the Day

Off the West End

The NFL passed a policy regarding the national anthem yesterday. To sum up said policy: players can stay in the locker room during the national anthem if they want, but if they’re on the field, they have to stand.

The Sporting News points out that this is more or less the same policy as the NBA, so what’s offensive about this? Well, for starters, the NBA policy was in place long before Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem; the NFL’s policy is in direct response to it. But there’s also the wording: the NFL’s policy repeatedly calls for people to stand and “show respect,” calls for fines for violators, and says “The Commissioner will impose appropriate discipline on league personnel who do not stand and show respect for the flag and Anthem.” NBA rules simply call for players to “stand and line up in a dignified posture,” and makes no mention of discipline for violators. One policy is about decorum; the other is about authority. The NBA rule is what the NFL probably should have adopted to achieve the desired effect, but then the NBA rule also wouldn’t send the message to the players that the owners wanted to send.

In any case, this is unlikely to have its intended effect; particularly in light of the fact that the NFL didn’t even bother to run this by the NFLPA, this almost reads like a dare. Now, some player’s probably going to come out and take a knee during the national anthem just to protest the damn rule.

(For what it’s worth, the NBA had its own national anthem controversy back in the 1990s when Denver Nuggets player Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf refused to stand for the anthem; the NBA suspended him without pay but ultimately allowed him to stand while closing his eyes and looking downward.)

Speaking of the NBA, the Celtics moved to within a game of the NBA Finals with a 96-83 win over the Cavaliers last night. And the Washington Capitals made the Stanley Cup Finals.