With all of the grandstanding and emotional reactions from the NFL over the weekend, the sport’s smartest executives seemingly proved that they have no idea they’re fighting a battle that simply can’t be won.
While it is clear as day to anyone who can disassociate themselves from the emotional response to being verbally attacked by a tweetstorm (as truly ‘terrifying’ as such a thing can be), the NFL doesn’t seem to understand that while almost every American can agree that football is a great sport, roughly 50% of them will vehemently disagree with whatever political stance any given player or league exec decides to publicly announce. And, since the NFL’s future depends on selling overpriced ad spots to massive corporations looking for a consistent number of eyeballs, alienating any group of viewers, for whatever reason, is just bad for business.
But don’t take our word for it…here’s just a couple of examples for what the fans had to say over the weekend.
“It’s a disgrace. It’s disgusting. They’re getting paid to do a job…to play ball and do whatever the fans want them to do.”
“They’re paying these guys to do a job. They’re not supposed to be involved in politics.”
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Meanwhile, this Ravens fan simply burned his jersey to the tune of the national anthem…
…while this Kansas City Chiefs fan (or ‘former’ fan as it were) was a little more vocal on exactly why he made the decision to burn all of his NFL gear.
“You can take your Kansas City Chiefs and you can take your NFL and you can shove it.”
“Now, think about that and think about the millions a year that you people are making to play a game while we got soldiers overseas that get paid minimum wage to put their lives on the line for that flag.”
“Protest does not belong in our NFL sports. It’s a game.”
But these videos were hardly unique as fans all around the country torched their NFL gear…
I have been a Steelers fan since 1966, but no more. pic.twitter.com/9W4oMl1EhF
— Starving1 (@ArvinGibbs) September 24, 2017
Finally, the owner of the Palmetto Alehouse in South Carolina took things to a whole new level after declaring that his restaurant would not air another NFL game until “all players pay respect to our flag and our country!!!”
“NFL will never be played at Palmetto Alehouse until all players pay respect to our flag and our country!!!” said the business owner to FOX Carolina, calling the players both entitled and arrogant individuals who use their position for advancement.
McCraw, an ex-military member, says he found the actions of NFL players protesting the national anthem by kneeling, disrespectful. He said he feels that athletes and people who’ve attained celebrity status should not be telling people what or what not to do because they don’t share the same struggles as people who live normal lives.
“I do not support anyone that thinks that our country or our flag is not worth standing for,” he explained.
“Our president is our president, but I don’t stand in unity with everything he says,” said the restaurant owner. “This is a country of one people and we need to stand for our flag.”
“There are issues in this country that need to be addressed, but disrespecting our flag and our country is not the way to do it,” said McCraw.
And as far as how the restaurant owner’s decision will affect business, McCraw says he’s not losing any sleep over it.
“It’s no concern for me,” said McCraw. “I’m an ex-military guy. My whole concept is about being local and supporting the community. It is not about supporting a concept that is disrespectful to our flag or our country, and I don’t think the people that come to my bar will feel that this is disrespectful to them.”
So, to all the NFL execs who can’t help but politicize their league, good luck with all those “make-good” advertisements that will come out of your own pockets when your viewership hits an inevitable dip over the coming weeks.