Being Canadian it really doesn't bother me what American football players do, it's up to them. What I see happening now is that it's turning into a referendum against Donald Trump rather than what Colin Kaepernick wanted it to be. He was doing it for a cause, but let's face it, now it's just to piss Trump off because they know he will say something about it.
One question is, where were these players when Kaepernick first started taking the knee, why didn't they take a knee along side him? Instead he was singled out and really kind of forgotten about till Trump brought it up in Alabama. I think most level headed individuals can get behind a just cause like racial equality, but now it's not about that anymore. It about Donald Trump calling Kaepernick a son of a bitch. Once you deviate from the cause all credibility is lost. Not to mention the fact that news outlets like CNN have blown this all out of proportion. At least that what it looks like to us living outside the US.
Oh and by the way there is no hard and fast NFL rule regarding a code of conduct when the anthem is played. There is however a game operations manual that every team must follow with regards to the national anthem, it goes as follows:
The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem.
During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.