We are all familiar with the fact that the NFL has taken a hit thanks to their ridiculous decision to allow players to disrespect the flag and anthem because of a political grievance. Of course the players have the “right” to do it. No one is saying they don’t. However, the NFL also has the right to fine them or suspend them just like any employer does. The NFL hasn’t done that and they chose instead to ignore their own operations manual and let players kneel, sit, and even hide in the locker room to protest police brutality or something. It’s not clear what exactly the message is the kneelers are trying to convey. They just really want attention and they chose to seek that attention during the small window reserved for honoring those who have died for our country.
It’s been a problem for them and there is no doubt the ratings have suffered and the NFL has lost money.
However, something weird has happened.
Many liberals have opted to put their heads in the sand and run with the argument that conservatives are making a big deal out of nothing and the NFL is fine.
It’s a little strange. Sure, the NFL is a behemoth and dropping 10% in the ratings won’t make or break them. But, it’s still a big deal. What company on the planet is content with taking a 10% hit because of an unforced error?
On top of that, this isn’t just partisan bickering. The NFL has serious problems. That reality was confirmed yet again by some new numbers this week.
Warner Todd Huston has the details.
The National Football League is quickly losing its core audience marking a shift that could bring an end to the sport’s dominance, a new poll finds.
The WSJ/NBC poll found several things that should worry the NFL both for its near and long-term future. For instance, in the short-term, fans are paying less attention than ever to the NFL. But, more worrisome, in the long-term, parents are increasingly discouraging their children from playing football over concerns over the sport’s safety. The latter would tend to create fewer football fans into the future.
The effect does not seem to be localized, either. Fan interest in the NFL has dropped across the various demographics, including in the crucial growth demo of young males, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“The drop in interest spans age groups and the political spectrum—painting the picture of a sport that isn’t just experiencing a momentary dip, but a battle against fundamental questions about football’s future that have been building for years,” the Journal wrote.
That’s clearly nothing to scoff at.
Yet, so many liberals are scoffing at it.
You know what else is nothing to scoff at?
From Fox Business:
WWE CEO Vince McMahon on Thursday said he is launching a new version of the XFL, a professional football league, through his Alpha Entertainment investment fund, nearly two decades after the original XFL unsuccessfully challenged the NFL for one season.
The new XFL will launch in 2020 with eight teams, 40-man rosters and a 10-week schedule that will start in either late January or early February, rather than directly compete with the NFL. McMahon did not say where the games will air, but said they will be available on all platforms. The initial investment behind the league will be roughly $100 million.
“The new XFL will be fan-centric, with all the things you like to see and less of the things you don’t. We will present a shorter, faster-paced, family friendly and easier-to-understand game,” McMahon said.
McMahon also said that players would stand for the national anthem.
No one is saying that the XFL will ever overtake the NFL or even succeed. However, you are kidding yourself if you think it’s not possible for a viable NFL alternative to survive alongside the NFL.
There is a market and the NFL has single-handedly created it.
[Note: This post was written by Andrew Mark Miller]