The National Football League is steadily destroying the phenomenal good will that the American people have shown it ever since commissioner Roger Goodell took the helm in 2006 and began incrementally installing what has become a fairly transparent social justice agenda.
This past week, a watershed moment occurred in the NFL: Roger Goodell met with players and owners and announced that he wouldn’t be fining players protesting during the national anthem, although he would prefer that league members stand for it.
This might have been a reasonable compromise, if Goodell hadn’t tacitly endorsed the implicit criticism of the national anthem by refusing to make a public statement on it until it was much too late to stem the bleeding. Outkick the Coverage’s Clay Travis puts it well:
When Colin Kaepernick started these protests a year ago, the writing was on the wall for this to be a massive wave of protests that changed the entire landscape the NFL. This was always poised to be a divisive situation, and it should have been handled immediately.
Clay Travis agrees with everything Roger Goodell wrote in his memo to all teams regarding the anthem and thinks it should have been done a year ago when Colin Kaepernick started the protests.
The NFL attempted to bait-and-switch the meaning of the protest from one regarding the “racist” meaning of the national anthem (debunked), as well as police disproportionately using deadly force against minorities (also debunked) to one of blanket “equality.” That’s a pretty tough sell when we’re talking about Americans tuning in religiously every week to watch African-American millionaires play a game. (Jesse Jackson risibly compared such players to “cotton-picking slaves.”)
A huge issue for the NFL is that Americans can get their news from a variety of sources; conservative-leaning fans, who constitute a sizable bloc of the professional football audience, are going to get the whole story if players are going to be out their slamming the national anthem, and in turn, diminishing the sacrifices made by military servicemen to safeguard the nation’s freedoms (including freedom of dissent; most sensibly expressed at any other time but during the singing of the national anthem).
The NFL is receiving yet more feedback that it’s handling of the national anthem protests, initiated by the notorious communist-adoring Colin Kaepernick, has been nothing short of a complete debacle. A new poll from Fox News shows that its positive standing with the national audience is dying:
As Fox News put it:
The National Football League is taking some hits these days. A new Fox News Poll finds that since 2013, the league’s favorable rating has dropped 18 points.
Today, 46 percent of voters have a positive view of the N.F.L. while 41 percent view it negatively. Four years ago (the last time the question was asked), 64 percent had a positive view of the league and 19 percent were critical.
Just as poignantly as the drop in favorables, is its sharp increase in unfavorables: Only one in five had a negative view of the NFL four years ago, and today it is over twice as many. This trend is corroborated by an earlier Winston Poll that showed the NFL had become the most unfavorable sports league.
As reported by the Washington Examiner:
From the end of August to the end of September, the favorable ratings for the NFL have dropped from 57 percent to 44 percent, and it has the highest unfavorable rating – 40 percent – of any big sport, according to the Winston Group survey provided exclusively to Secrets.
Ever since it’s become obvious that ESPN, owned by parent company Disney, has no plans to scale back its incessant social activism, as well as the NFL’s blatant left turn, conservatives and just plain patriotic Americans have tried to yell, “enough!” Since they have gone ignored, they are hitting back with their pocketbooks.
Recent evidence this is exactly what fans are doing has come by way of a CNBC report about CBS’s decreasing NFL revenue:
Declining NFL television ratings will lower CBS earnings, according to Credit Suisse.
The firm cut its third-quarter EPS estimates by 5 percent, citing CBS’ softer Sunday NFL ratings.
As a FiveThirtyEight graphic shows, NFL watchers are almost evenly distributed across the political spectrum:
It does not make business sense for a sports league to repeatedly infuriate nearly half the audience.
The NFL is now having to deal with that Economics 101 reality; its attempts to band-aid over the situation may be a case of “too little, too late.”
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