Imagine if employees of an enterprise decided to “make a statement” or “protest” by a visibly obvious gesture that served to primarily to “raise awareness” while angering the vast majority of the customers of the enterprise.
Now imagine that the employees are photographers, the enterprise is a photography studio, and the event was a same sex wedding.
What would happen if a photographer “took a knee” in front of the entire gathering of a same sex wedding in order to communicate their displeasure at having to choose between (1) sustaining a business/career in photography vs. (2) being forced to attend an event they don’t believe in, and to do so while behaving in accordance with the dictates of the people forcing you to be there.
It seems to me that whether the context is wedding photography or the NFL, the employer has the discretion to either permit or not permit such an action. Consumers would have the right to boycott the respective employers for whatever decision that was made. Employees might be forced to get different employment.