Things seem to be turning against the once great NFL. As the league decided to stray away from sports, where they should have remained, and into the realm of politics, it’s been a mistake that is already costing them dearly.
A post on the NFL’s website encouraged players to kneel before the national anthem and disrespect this country. Now, the NFL is finding itself with fewer viewers than before; stadiums are empty, and people aren’t willing to watch cry-baby millionaires disrespect the national anthem or the American flag.
In last week’s opening of the NFL’s games, there were more empty seats than filled ones at many of the games — hardly a sight that anyone in the industry expected.
“NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart on the attendance in LA & SF: “Any time we empty seats that something we want to address. Focused on sellouts,” tweeted Ian Rapoport, who was one of many to notice the peculiar sight.
It seems that sellouts might not be a realistic expectation anymore, as the league seems set on merging sports and politics together. It’s a decision that is already costing the league greatly, evident by the stadium attendance.
By letting figures such as Colin Kaepernick kneel during the National Anthem, the NFL has been encouraging this behavior among its players. As such, it’s becoming harder for average Americans to simply enjoy a game of football without having to get political.
Polls are already coming out showing just how fed up Americans are with this set of affairs. According to a Rasmussen poll, almost one-third of Americans surveyed (32 percent) said that they are less likely to watch an NFL game because of the growing number of players kneeling at the Anthem. Although 52 percent say they are indifferent to the entire affair, and 13 percent even saying they’re more likely to watch a game, it’s a sizable enough chunk of the viewership to significantly threaten the NFL’s profit margins.
Even worse for them, the longer that they chose to silently encourage this trend among its players, the stronger these anti-NFL sentiments will grow. The number may be just 32 percent for now, but it’s quite likely that it will increase over time.
In addition, fans are finding it harder to appreciate their long-adored teams when players engage in behavior that fans find reprehensible. Recently, the Pittsburgh Steelers team refused to appear during the playing of the anthem – a solidarity broken only by their offensive lineman, Alejandro Villanueva, who was the only one to stand proudly as the anthem played.
Has the NFL dug their own grave with their handling of national anthem protests?
In fact, just after this event, Villanueva’s jersey became a best-seller, demonstrating how much Americans’ appreciate this act of courage – and dislike this politically motivated nonsense getting entangled into a game that they love.
Even President Trump had something to say about the entire affair, making mention of “kneelers” in one of his signature rallies, asking his audience how they would feel if the NFL owners would muster up the boldness to fire those who disrespected the country.
Pandering to the political Left seldom pays, and it’s a decision that the executives of the NFL are surely ruing that they ever made.