This NFL season has been plagued with confusion, division, and politics . . . and it has not served the league well. As a bit of history, one player (a 2nd string QB . . . a black dude reared by a well-to-do white family) became political toward the end of ‘16 season and started a campaign of sitting during the National anthem. The news media, always hungry for controversy, zoomed in on it. The dude would be interviewed after the game and allowed a microphone to vomit out his vitriolic foolishness . . . all the while wearing his tee-shirt with a photo of Fidel Castro across the front. Mind you, football fans are only interested in hearing from players on the field (playing well) and not with words expressing their views on any other subject. The truth of the matter is that goofy dude said nothing from the playing field as he was always on the bench . . . simply not good enough to be put into the game. Fans generally view players (and actors) as paid monkeys on a stage paid to entertain us.
Foolishly, the NFL Commissioner chose not to enforce the League’s written policy on showing respect during the National anthem. Suddenly, other players decided to join in the protest . . . claiming they were protesting police brutality against Blacks and over social and economic issues affecting black folks. Mind you, these are guys who received a free college education at tax payer’s expense by playing football and are today make several times the amount of average Americans . . . guys living the dream . . . rather than being thankful they elect to be political.
The NFL from office is a bad joke.
After a brutal murder of several policemen in Dallas, the Cowboys wanted to add a sticker on players’ helmets honoring those fallen policemen. The NFL was quick to act and demanded the stickers be removed. One young guy hurting over the death of his mom from breast cancer had a pink cleat made for his shoe . . . the NFL denied him the right to use it. There is a long history of such NFL demands.
Studies are showing that all of this foolishness by players during the National Anthem is carrying a cost. At a campaign-style rally in Alabama, President Trump called NFL owners out on their silence and declared that if a player insults the nation the “SOB should be removed from the playing field and immediately fired.” His declaration energized patriots and angered Black players, and the foolishness grew by leaps and bounds. Ratings on games are said to be down by some 18 to 20%, advertisers are demanding refunds of advertising fees since viewership is not at the levels contracted for and networks are requiring refunds from the NFL. As the super Bowl approaches, the veteran organization . . . AMVET wanted to place a $30,000 ad in the game’s program. The NFL rejected the veteran group’s request to place that full-page ad in the Super Bowl program because — ironically — the advertisement requesting that people stand for the playing of the National Anthem saying the ad is too “political” for such an arena. AMVET’S proposed ad, which would have cost about $30,000, was denied on the grounds that the game program has “never been a place” for ads that could be considered “political” statements. “The Super Bowl game program is designed for fans to commemorate and celebrate the game, players, teams, and the Super Bowl,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said, according to USA TODAY Sports.
I predict that the NFL owners will soon come to regret the day they permitted the spineless NFL Commissioner to make such an ignorant decision of not enforcing its long-standing, written policy. I suspect they will come to know that there is still great American pride and respect for our flag and troops in uniform. Today I learned that this year’s Super Bowl will not include the National anthem. As a guy who likes the game of football, I fear the NFL has made a terrible error in ever allowing this stupidity to go this far. This is still the USA and there are many of us who love it more than this silly game. I think the response will be serious. The simple truth of the matter is that the work place is not a legitimate area in which employees are welcome to express political views.