The whole NFL kneeling thing really spun out of control, didn’t it?

It’s got people all whipped into a frenzy.

The way I see it, there are two issues at play here — whether players should stand during the national anthem and whether it was wise for President Donald Trump to jump into the fray.

I don’t begrudge anyone an opinion. I have been foisting my opinions on readers of this newspaper for a couple dozen years. Some folks like what I have to say. Others think I’m full of poot.

That’s the way it works. I get that.

And it’s not that I disagree with what the NFL players are kneeling about. Who could argue that supporting racial equality and criminal justice reform is not a worthy goal?

But I do take issue with the protest itself. I see it as disrespectful of the flag and the national anthem. Further, I’m not sure disrespect for our nation’s patriotic symbols is the best way to go about achieving goals. It’s like flag burning. It’s divisive.

But then, I open doors for women, take off my hat indoors, keep my elbows off the table and put my napkin in my lap. You know, all those little things my parents drilled into me when I was a kid that have become almost arcane in today’s America.

But I’m not the one on the field now, am I? And opinions are like, um, eyebrows — everybody’s got a couple.

President Trump has opinions, too. And lots of times I just wish he would keep them to himself. This was a perfect example.

I mean, if he had to say anything, I wish he would have said something like this: “You know, I understand how these athletes feel, but I’m just not sure that kneeling during the national anthem is appropriate. It seems divisive to me and this is a time when we need to bring the country together.”

But no. Instead, he calls them SOBs and demands they be fired. This, of course, enrages somewhere around 40 percent of the country.

What was four or five football players kneeling turned into a couple hundred overnight.

What was once a low-key  afterthought is now fully jammed into the consciousness of the entire nation.

Why? It’s incendiary. It ramps up the divisiveness. It makes people line up on one side or the other. How is this a good thing?

I just don’t get why Trump does stuff like that. I used to think it was part of some wider strategy to shore up his base or something.

But anymore, I just think it’s his lack of a filter. I think he goes rogue while his aides — his chief of staff and his cabinet — cringe.

And there’s another thing that bugs me about this whole mess:

The kneeling is pure politics.

Have these folks forgotten why it is that people watch them in the first place? They’re supposed to be entertaining us.

Frankly, I don’t find much entertainment in watching the camera scanning kneeling players.

And then, of course, we have to hear all the NFL talking heads discuss the kneeling or the not kneeling during the pregame, halftime or postgame show.

And, apparently, the NFL wants it that way.

NFL owners select a commissioner but act as their own governing body. They make the rules. It’s their choice.

They choose not to allow “excessive endzone celebrations” with “props.” They choose to allow kneeling for the anthem.

(Interesting parenthetical: The NBA has a rule prohibiting such things. In the league’s official rulebook under “Player/Team Conduct and Dress” it says, “Players, coaches, and trainers are to stand and line up in a dignified posture along the sidelines or on the foul line during the playing of the National Anthem.”)

I wish the NFL would consider that many people — and count me as one of those — watch pro football to escape politics.

We want to be entertained, not lectured. We want to have fun, not be told what to think. I mean, I don’t mind someone trying to sway me to their way of thinking, just not during a football game.

I feel the same way about late-night TV, awards shows and even sitcoms. Everything is political these days. Just stop. Entertain me.

Certainly having an opinion and using it to further a goal you deem worthy is as American as red, white and blue. But all this politicking in sports and entertainment is mildly to moderately annoying.

My opinion?

I don’t need a bunch of 1-percenter athletes and entertainers attempting to brow-beat me into political submission.

I’m not the only one who thinks that way. Last year, after 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started this whole episode, Reuters did a poll.

The poll showed that an overwhelming majority of Americans were not supportive of Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem.

The poll found that 72 percent of Americans viewed the protest as "unpatriotic" and 61 percent disagreed with the protest itself.

At the same time, 64 percent of the people surveyed thought Kaepernick shouldn’t be disciplined for his protest.

Which is pretty much how I and probably most other Americans feel. We don’t like it, but support the players’ right to do it — as long as the owners go along.?It’s always the owners’ call.

And that is the big question. How long will NFL owners stay on board if these protests start hurting them where it counts — revenue?

The New York Times reported the following on Tuesday:

A state legislator in Louisiana, Kenneth Havard, a Republican, said he wants to take away millions of dollars in subsidies and tax breaks that the New Orleans Saints and the NFL receive because they have allowed players to protest during the national anthem.

“Disrespecting our national anthem and flag in the name of social injustice is the highest form of hypocrisy,” Mr. Havard said in a statement. “It is time the taxpayers quit subsidizing protests on big boy playgrounds. I believe in the right to protest but not at a taxpayer subsidized sporting event.”

Will that happen? Who knows.

Meanwhile, NFL fans across America were posting Facebook videos of themselves burning their favorite players’ jerseys.

If more players engage in anthem kneeling, will sports fans stop watching the NFL?

I don’t know. Time will tell. But I know this. Money talks — especially in the NFL.

If attendance, ratings, ad revenue and subsidies start evaporating, we’ll see just how devoted to their players’ cause the NFL owners truly are.