With each passing week, National Football League players who are protesting the national anthem are turning their game into a progressive joke, and the disease is spreading beyond our shores — and even into the NCAA. Roger Goodell and the team owners better call up a systemic drug immediately, before the league’s brand is irreparably damaged.

ESPN has been keeping track of who has been protesting each week, so we can all see who to scorn. No doubt this weekend’s many games will bring more names to add, as negative developments continue in this misguided “protest.”

There’s a special contempt to be held for those who diss America in a foreign venue.

This past week, per usual, it was 49ers backup QB Colin “Career-Crash-and-Burn” Kaepernick, safety Eric Reid, and linebacker Eli Harold. However, fans were also treated to the sight of four other 49ers raising their right fists during the anthem. Members of seven other NFL teams either took a knee or made a fist. Six of those teams lost.

Fortunately, members of two other teams counterbalanced this disrespect. Kudos to the Seattle Seahawks who, for the fourth straight week, linked arms as a sign of unity. Washington Redskins receiver DeSean Jackson wore special cleats during “The Star-Spangled Banner” to call attention to the “senseless killing of both citizens and police.” Fair enough.

Colts defensive back Antonio Cromartie took a knee during the anthem — at a special game played in London’s Wembley Stadium. There’s a special contempt to be held for those who diss America in a foreign venue anyway, but Cromartie’s act is particularly revolting. To protest one’s home country when on foreign soil is, optically, to align oneself with our country’s enemies. It’s Jane Fonda posing with the Viet Cong.

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Here at home, not only do we show respect for our own national anthem at sporting events, but Americans remain standing for the Canadian anthem. That’s showing true respect and dignity to a visiting nation. For Cromartie to take a knee in front of tens of thousands of people in Britain, with whom we’ve long enjoyed Churchill’s “special relationship,” is to disrespect U.K. citizens as well.

Our two nations have endured great hardships together and fought side-by-side in the world’s greatest conflicts. Tens of thousands of U.K. citizens are standing for our national anthem, yet one of our own takes a knee? It’s an embarrassment to Cromartie, America, and the goodwill between nations.

Related: Boycotting Those National Anthem Protestors

Now, NCAA teams are joining in. Several teams had players take a knee, and 14 players of the Michigan Wolverines knelt, right in front of Coach Jim Harbaugh. If I were him, I would have read them the riot act in the locker room. In a way, this is almost worse than the actions of those in the NFL.

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Yet the NCAA, which already has to deal with the progressive virus on campuses, now sees it spread to the football field. These colleges are turning out progressive nut cases as it is; now, the one area where one might hope to see dignity and professionalism is being undermined.

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This past weekend, members of the East Carolina University Marching Band took a knee. Fortunately, they were booed by fans in the stadium crowd. Apparently marching band conductors need to get a grip on their people as well.

David West, of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, has engaged in a quasi-protest by standing two feet behind his teammates during the anthem, “to protest the issues he sees in the world.” This seems bizarre because he actually is standing but refuses to do so … with his teammates. It seems more disrespectful to them.

It has also spread beyond sports. New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams refused to stand in mid-September and he was joined by seven colleagues in that protest at a meeting. This reaches a level of absurdity. This man chose to run for a governing body, and was elected to do so. That body is a part of our country, he was sent there to serve the people, and he is there allegedly to advocate for the things he believes in already. So why protest?

It’s bad enough that Roger Goodell is too cowardly to do what he should — tell players it reflects poorly on the NFL, the teams, and the players not to stand for the national anthem. He should use his bully pulpit to establish a set of standards for NFL players. This is the NFL. This is what we do. You can bet that this hockey season, all the immigrants from other nations that fill our hockey benches will be on their feet every game, because they appreciate what America offers them.

But not Goodell, who has no spine.

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He’s not the only one to blame. Owners should be following the example of Jerry Jones, who effectively delivered the message Goodell can’t manage. “If you are a member of my team, you will stand, period,” is the message every owner should deliver — every coach as well, for that matter. These guys run their teams in quasi-military fashion. You show up for workouts, for practices, for medical evaluations — on time, every time. It isn’t about self-serving protests. It is about team discipline.

Free speech should be supported. However, this is the wrong execution of the right idea. There are more effective and appropriate ways to make one’s feelings known.

We can only hope the owners and coaches get into players’ faces. If they don’t — the fans are going to turn their backs.