The NFL is in huge trouble.
The anti-American anthem protests have done serious damage to the league’s image.
Now one NFL owner is attacking Trump for his patriotic anthem stance.
The NFL used to be untouchable.
It was the most invincible brand in sports.
Viewership and revenue constantly shot up.
But the league faces many new challenges.
First, the NFL has no good answer to the concussion problems.
They settled to pay at least $500 million to former players with severe head injuries.
In order to reduce head trauma and lawsuits, the NFL added new rules about helmet collisions.
The rules are so impossible to enforce, it’s led to bad penalties that have ruined games without improving safety.
That wasn’t the only officiating problem.
The replacement referees caused a PR nightmare for the league.
They might’ve even cost the Green Bay Packers a Super Bowl appearance after a botched call lost them important playoff seeding.
Ugly domestic abuse scandals also gave the league an ugly reputation.
But perhaps nothing has done more damage to the NFL than the anti-American anthem protests.
Since free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee, viewership is down.
Attendance dropped, ratings slipped, and popularity is trending the wrong way.
But the league could be digging a further hole.
War with Trump
Donald Trump called out the unpatriotic displays that upset so many Americans.
Trump stands up for the flag when Democrats like Nancy Pelosi refuse to do so.
Polls show the majority of the country does not like to see players kneel for the flag.
Instead of fixing the problem, some owners lashed out at Trump for hurting the league.
The owners are misguided.
Their inaction, along with commissioner Roger Goodell, is the problem.
But new Carolina Panthers owner wants to focus on Trump.
Billionaire Dave Tepper beat out an ownership group that even included Colin Kaepernick to purchase the team.
The Drama Continues
In an interview, Tepper said that Trump’s critique of the kneeling players was “the biggest pile of bull-dinky ever.”
Aside from Tepper’s corny language, he’s ignoring the fact that millions of Americans agree with Trump.
Tepper continued by saying the NFL players are examples of the “most patriotic people.”
Kaepernick openly said his protest was against America for police brutality against black people.
However, FBI statistics prove Kaepernick’s entire protest is based on media-created panic.
According to the Washington Post, 20 unarmed black suspects were shot by the police in 2017.
While all loss of life is tragic, 20 questionable shootings in a country of 325 million people is not an epidemic.
And a study by Harvard economist Roland Fryer shows that cops are more likely to pull their gun on a white suspect than a black one.
Protesters should do more research instead of blindly following Kaepernick.
And Tepper shouldn’t encourage them to keep it up.
But Tepper’s swipe at the president isn’t surprising.
He had harsh words for both Trump and Hillary Clinton in 2016:
“You have one person with questionable judgment and the other person may be demented, narcissistic and a scumbag. Not saying which one’s which. You can make your own decision on that.”
Owners like Tepper continue to let this problem fester.