When I see how the NFL has dealt with, or should I say, refused to deal with, the issue of players protesting during the playing of the National Anthem. I can’t help but think of the famous line from the movie Forest Gump – Stupid is as Stupid does. However, in referring to the NFL, I would add a couple of caveats such as unpatriotic and wimps.
When players jumped on the kneeling protest fad, the reaction of the general public was not good. Many people, even long-time season ticket holders, quit going to the games. They also quit watching the games on television and they stopped buying NFL items – shirts, jerseys, hats, banners, jackets, glasses and many more items.
During the 2017 season, some stadiums were left over half empty and some teams resorted to trying to sell tickets for only $3 each, but still could not fill the seats. With so many people abandoning the NFL, some of their sponsors also began to feel the pinch. If people don’t watch the games on television, they don’t see the commercials and if they don’t see the commercials, they don’t buy the products.
Attendance was so low and with sponsors pulling out or screaming for the league to do something about the protests and attendance, the NFL decided to cancel the televised broadcast of the final Sunday night game.
Did NFL officials and team owners learn their lesson?
Over the off season, it seemed they had, as the NFL instituted some rules against the protests. However, even those rules were weak in that it allowed players to refuse to take the field until after the National Anthem. They were allowed to remain in the clubhouse or in the tunnels of the stadium until after the Anthem ended.
However, the NFL officials and most of the owners have once again proven that they are stupid unpatriotic wimps, as they have suspended the anti-protest rules, because the players union filed a legal challenge.
First let me ask who the bosses are. Are the team owners the bosses or the players?
Put it in another context. What would your employer do if you publicly protested against the National Anthem or showed disrespect for the American flag while on the job? Chances are, you would be looking for another job, because your bosses have the legal right to insist their employees to conduct themselves in a certain way so as not to shame, disgrace or harm the company. How many people do you know who lost their job because they violated company rules? I’m sure we all know someone who has.
When the NFL players kneel in protest at the beginning of the game, they are bringing shame and disgrace on themselves, their team and the NFL. If team owners realized that they were bosses, then they would set the rules and if players didn’t like the rules, then let them quit or go on strike. There are hundreds of former college football players who would jump at the chance to play in an NFL game. If the current players whine and fuss over a no-protesting while on the job rule, then hire those other players.
Getting rid of many of these overpaid and unpatriotic whiners would do wonders for the game of professional football. The substitute players would not demand the millions of dollars in salaries, which would save the owners a fortune. The games could be more entertaining for the fans and having players on the field who truly appreciate the opportunity to play professional football would definitely bring many fans back to the stadiums and to watching the games on television, which would also make sponsors very happy.
Busting the players union and fielding new players who are willing to play by the rules of conduct would be a win-win-win-win for the NFL, but then, we have to realize that the owners and league officials are lowly wimps who are allowing their employees to dictate to them instead of the other way around.
If the NFL doesn’t enforce strict rules against the protests, this could be their final season due to the public backlash and loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue from fans and sponsors.