The National Football League is starting to feel the effects of the disrespect they have shown toward the national anthem. Numerous fans have posted videos on social media in which they are burning their tickets, team memorabilia, and apparel. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell along with a large number of players have continued with their outright disrespect toward the national anthem and their customers. Some players like Brandon Marshall, a linebacker from the Denver Broncos, has lost a sponsorship deal and recently the league has had to give money back to advertisers due to poor ratings. With fans boycotting the NFL and local bars refusing to show NFL games, the financial consequences of players taking a knee during the national anthem are starting to come to fruition. So how bad is it?
The ratings for the National Football League in the first three weeks are as follows. Nielsen has indicated the normal viewership (based on last season) for the NFL during the first three weeks is around 18 million viewers. Presently, that number has dropped to about 16 million viewers. The decrease in viewership all around for this season’s first three weeks is 11%. “Through three weeks, viewership for national telecasts of NFL games is down 11 percent this season compared to 2016,” the Nielsen Company said on Tuesday. Ratings for next week and beyond are likely to show a continued decline as fans are not relenting with their disgust for the NFL, the protesting players, and the way commissioner Roger Goodell has handled the situation.
The boycott of the NFL is not limited to just the teams and players. Recently, a truck driver and Navy veteran, only identified as Matt, has released a video on social media calling for the boycott of all Pilot Flying J gas stations. These gas stations are owned by the owner of the Cleveland Browns, Jimmy Haslam, who allowed a majority of his team to take a knee during one of their most recent games. The Navy veteran Matt states, “We just watched the beginning of the Cleveland Browns [game] and the national anthem, and the owner, Jimmy Haslam, allowed most of his team to kneel during the national anthem. Jimmy Haslam owns all the Pilots and Flying J’s in the country. What you need to do if you support this is do not go to a Pilot, do not go to a Flying J, until he states to his team that no member will be allowed to take a knee during the national anthem.” You can watch the video, in its entirety here on Facebook. Within 6 hours of this video’s release, it was viewed more than 350,000 times and shared 13,000 times.
The owner of the Cleveland Browns naively stated, “We view our organization, our league, and our players as great unifiers of people. Our players, just like so many others across our league have been honest and thoughtful with their attempt to bring awareness to the issues of inequality and social injustice. We were incredibly moved by the meaningful and powerful dialogue they initiated within out organization when they spoke of their intent to unify. We must not let the misguided, uninformed and divisive comments from the President or anyone else deter us from our efforts to unify.”
What Jimmy Haslam and the rest of these disrespectful NFL players fail to realize is that the only thing they are unifying is their mutual destruction. As fans continue to tune out and stop spending money, owners and players in the NFL are in for a rude awakening. President Trump’s comments may have been abrasive and perhaps even un-Presidential, however, President Trump’s comments represent the sentiment many former NFL fans have regarding players disrespecting the national anthem. Somewhere along the line, the NFL forgot who their customers were and allowed the lunatic left to destroy a cherished American institution. Interestingly, none of these players or owners have offered any real solutions, time, or money toward fixing the social injustices they speak of. Meanwhile, the NBA has started to dig its grave as well with LeBron James calling Trump supporters uneducated, and the coach of the San Antonio Spurs, Greg Popovich, going on a white apologist rant.
These professional athletes are on a collision course with the real world and are going to see how much power the fans really have. DIRECTV is issuing refunds for NFL Ticket subscribers. Fans are tuning out and are not going to spend their money with an organization or team that spits in the eye of American values.