It seems that the tides are finally turning with regard to the NFL national anthem protests. As top officials in the league start clamping down on this behavior, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) couldn’t help but say what was on his mind.
“It only took Roger, what, two or three weeks of public humiliation to finally get the message?” said Newt Gingrich, according to Fox News.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell made an announcement that won back the respect of NFL fans across the country. In a memo that addressed the 32 teams in the league, Goodell stated that the NFL believes “everyone should stand for the national anthem,” and that is what “our country, and our fans expect.”
Appearing on Fox & Friends, Gingrich said, “It only took Roger, what, two or three weeks of public humiliation to finally get the message,” adding that President Trump has been a vocal critic of the NFL’s actions for a long time.
“Trump has this unique ability to understand where the American people are and what the American people value,” Gingrich said. “And Trump wouldn’t let it go away. No, no, let’s have a fight over this. And the result was when the country paid attention, the country said, ‘Of course you ought to respect the flag.’”
Gingrich also brought up a recent poll which showed that the NFL has become the least respected college/professional sport in America, with the favorability rating falling to only 44 percent, according to Fox News.
Goodell’s memo has been met with a positive reception from conservatives and patriotic NFL fans who have been upset over the recent anti-American protests. “The current dispute over the national anthem is threatening to erode the unifying power of our game, and is now dividing us, and our players, from many fans across the country,” read Goodell’s memo.
“Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem. It is an important moment in our game. We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us,” the memo continued. “The controversy over the Anthem is a barrier to having honest conversations and making real progress on the underlying issues. We need to move past this controversy, and we want to do that together with our players.”
Many have felt that it was inevitable for the NFL to make this decision. With the league struggling to fill stadiums and a recent poll revealing that up to one-third of fans might not watch at all over these protests, there was too much on the line, financially, for the league to do otherwise.
The NFL protests have gone on for weeks. Do you think they will end soon?
Coupled with the fact that the league receives over $1 billion in tax subsidies from the government, picking a fight with Trump — and subsequently, patriotic Americans — could financially bankrupt the league.
“The NFL is at its best when we ourselves are unified,” the memo concluded. “In that spirit, let’s resolve that next week we will meet this challenge in a unified and positive way.”
It looks like this was a victory for the President, NFL fans, and for all Americans as well. Hopefully, this case might serve as a historical reminder as to why disrespecting the nation’s flag and anthem are seldom good ideas.