NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said during a press conference this afternoon that, while his players “should” stand for the national anthem, he wouldn’t take action forcing them to do so — even though the NFL’s game manual states players must stand during the anthem.
Instead, Goodell promised more “dialogue” and “understanding” with the players — even as the league’s crowd sizes and ratings continue to shrink.
By now, everyone knows about all the NFL players kneeling, sitting, doing stretches, having a snack or staying in the locker room during the playing of our national anthem.
The practice, which started with the then-San Francisco 49’ers quarterback (and now, unemployed quarterback) Colin Kaepernick last summer has broiled into a spectacle known the world over. It has also infuriated the president, as can be witnessed by this morning’s tweet:
The NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem. Total disrespect for our great country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2017
With fans loudly voicing disapproval and advertisers pulling out, the NFL and its broadcast partners have sought to minimize the damage in a number of ways.
One of those ways has been to cease showing images of the protests on television. In a story last week, we chronicled how ESPN — the NFL’s $15.2 billion Monday Night Football partner — cut to a commercial break just prior to the anthem, rather than allow its cameras to capture the slow suicide players are inflicting upon the league.
The other television networks are similarly doing their best to shroud the fact that fans are saying ‘screw you’ to the NFL in amazing numbers, while keeping alive the facade that 15 stadiums are packed every Sunday.
There are just two problems: First, it isn’t true, and second, we now live in the day and age of cell phones and social media.
Fans themselves have taken to providing stadium coverage that networks won’t. Images posted to The Conservative Fighters clearly demonstrate that this past Sunday –week 6 of the NFL season– was not a pretty one.
“The NFL used to be the most popular professional sports league in the country. That is quickly changing, thanks to the behavior of certain athletes. By taking a knee during the playing of our national anthem, these millionaires are trying to make themselves into martyrs. The NFL and its players need to know that most Americans cherish their nation, and their heritage, far more than any game.
As more and more players have protested the anthem and President Donald Trump has spoken out against them, fans have fired back at the league for not taking action by boycotting, which has resulted in ticket sales plummeting.
NFL fans outraged of anthem protesters stepped into the situations, making clear that they side with President Trump. We stand with the Heroes, not a bunch of rich, entitled, arrogant, ungrateful, anti-American, degenerates.
Pictures of empty stadiums are the best way to see just how powerful the boycott truly is.
From what can be seen above, the trend of leaving the seats empty is still taking place, but it isn’t the only problem that the league is facing.
After President Trump called out the NFL team owners and urged them to fire any player who protested the national anthem, several major sponsors as well as many smaller ones have made the ultimate call to pull their advertisements from the league’s games, which only spells more bad news for the teams.”
Fans have spoken out clearly and in no uncertain terms. With some of its bonehead players saying things like they’ll quit before standing; and that if fans don’t want to come to the games, fine — who needs ’em, the NFL now finds itself between a rock and a very hard place.
The NFL certainly hopes that fan’s short memories will remedy this mess. But if this keeps up, owners might need to get used to the sight of half-empty stadiums — and soon players may have to accept losing those great, big, fat, multi-million-dollar contracts.
[NOTE: This article was written by Derrick Wilburn, Founder and Chairman of the Rocky Mountain Black Conservatives, and a speaker, author, columnist and analyst for multiple print and broadcast media outlets. Follow him on Facebook and at RMBlackConservatives.com.]