Professional sports were once seen as one of the few places Americans could go to escape the politicization invading every other sphere of entertainment. With the recent NFL protests, conservative audiences are being turned off by what many perceive to be the promotion of Left-wing politics.
The NHL, however, is presenting a very different environment. As seen on an NBC Sports video of hockey’s opening ceremonies, fans and athletes stood in respect for the national anthem–not a single person followed Colin Kaepernick’s lead to take a knee.
Hockey, like football, is often seen as a “tough” sport. Despite this, it hasn’t gained traction in the US for a variety of reasons. For one, it’s Canadian in origin, which has kept it from having the appeal of home-grown football.
Also, hockey tends to be more popular in places with cold weather, where frozen lakes provide ample opportunity for youth to play in their free time. In most areas of the country, Americans would have to pay money at a rink to get a chance to play hockey.
But the discontent with the current state of affairs in professional football may just convert some sports fans to the intense winter sport. Patriotic Americans are not taking kindly to NFL players’ widespread protests of the national anthem.
As Christian News Alerts reports, the NFL is experiencing significant drops in their ratings. According to polling, most Americans want NFL players to stand in respect during the anthem, and they directly cite the protests as their reason for no longer watching games.
Both the perceived affront to American values and the spurning of fans is prompting advertisers to reconsider their relationship with professional football. As covered by Christian News Alerts, Hardwick Clothes CEO Allan Jones announced that his company will no longer be buying NFL ads.
Jones stated Hardwick Clothes will not support “unpatriotic behavior,” saying, “I love America. They have the right to protest and I have the right to turn off the channel and place our ads elsewhere. The next time someone ask[s] the public to finance a stadium this will have a very long-term effect.”
The CEO also took direct aim at former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, whom he accused of “hypocrisy.” Jones said of Kaepernick: “When I see Colin Kaepernick lecturing the ‘oppressed’ wearing a Fidel Castro T-shirt you realize the hypocrisy to this stupidity.” It was Kaepernick who began the kneeling protests against the national anthem.
NBC Sports shows fans and athletes standing in respect for the national anthem. Are hockey fans more patriotic
Fans have also expressed their dissatisfaction with the NFL. According to CNN, Geauga County, Ohio, Sheriff Scott Hildenbrand prohibited his deputies from working off-duty security details at NFL games, arguing that “almost the entire league disrespected every veteran that ever fought or died for this country.” Hildenbrand says his father is a Vietnam War veteran.
Many fans have also taken to social media to post videos of themselves burning their season tickets, team jerseys, and merchandise. The situation has turned into a PR disaster for the NFL.
If ratings continue to plunge and more advertisers pull out, the NFL may find itself forced to choose between satisfying the political inclinations of its players or ceding to fans–who ultimately are the ones bringing in revenue.