NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell panicked in the face of the anti-American anthem protests.
He sat idly by for two full seasons while viewership sharply declined, then changed the anthem policy after significant damage was done to the league’s brand.
Now many NFL players are facing the same harsh reality the commissioner grappled with over the anthem issue.
The NFL has been America’s most popular sport for years, but saw an alarming drop in viewership in 2016 in the wake of the disrespectful anthem protests started by free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
The league and left-wing apologists in the mainstream media deflected critics of the anti-American protests and said the decline in viewership was due to the fervor over the 2016 presidential election.
However, the ratings and stadium attendance dipped again in 2017, marking the first time in years the NFL saw a two-year drop in popularity.
The alleged anomaly of 16 was becoming a trend, and the anthem protests were a clear reason why.
Many fans canceled season tickets, prompting teams to apologize for the unpatriotic displays. A low-water mark for the league was when NFL players participating in a regular season game in London knelt for the Star-Spangled Banner, then stood for “God Save the Queen.”
Goodell tried to stop the bleeding by enacting a new anthem policy which requires players to stand for the anthem, or remain in the locker room.
But protesting players are still dissatisfied. Apparently they want to be patted on the back for their protests.
The players’ union recently filed a grievance against the NFL for the reasonable new policy, signaling the players appear to be on a senseless kamikaze mission to ruin the league and undercut their own bargaining power.
If the league isn’t as financially healthy, the players will share a smaller piece of the pie, and stand less of a chance of getting the coveted guaranteed contract.
Fox Sports 1 Jason Whitlock has been a voice of reason on the anthem issue, and again broke down the issue in a logical way for the players.
Whitlock basically said they’re branding themselves as unpatriotic in a league that has prided itself and marketed itself around patriotism.
Whitlock pointed out that in pursuit of some nebulous notion of social justice, the players are engaging in bad business and decreasing their own value. Instead of protesting on one of the other six days of the week, the players foolishly chose to spit in the face of their core constituency.
During a segment on Fox News, Whitlock expounded on the topic:
“My father was a small business man in Indianapolis, and the customer is always right… So you have to please your customer base. This isn’t about a handful of players and how they feel…I want DeMaurice Smith, the head of the players’ union, to poll the 1,700 NFL players. How many of them want to kneel during the national anthem and want to continue this fight? I don’t think it’s a majority; I think it’s less than a hundred. If that’s the case, why are you as a union out supporting what a hundred or less players want as opposed to what 1,500, 1,600 other players want done? This should not be a priority because there’s not that many NFL players that want to see this happen.”
As is often the case, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. A very small number of NFL players are ruining everything for all the players in the league, many of whom are not superstar players who can afford to weather any oncoming storm.
In a league of 1,700 players, fewer than 10% shouldn’t be guiding all of them down a road of possible financial ruination.
The silent majority within the NFL needs to stand up and take the reins away from a small group of players with an agenda to push.