You would think that with major stadium tickets reselling for a fraction of their face value, ratings sinking like a stone, and polls showing that pro football is the most hated sport in America, the NFL would want to do everything in its power to divide its brand from any form of racial activism. The backlash against the Anthem Kneelers and their identity politics has been so strong and so overwhelming that it leaves a reasonable executive with no possible doubt as to what the next move is. Either the NFL continues down this path until it has alienated half (or more) of its base audience, thus relegating pro football to the kind of mainstream status enjoyed by hockey, OR it tightens up its game and remembers the simple fact that people turn into the NFL to FORGET about politics – not be inundated by it.
So what will it be?
The NFL announced this week that it will host an “Advocacy in Sport Workshop” at Morehouse College in Atlanta next February in an effort to teach student athletes how they can “develop and implement effective advocacy platforms that positively impact society.”
Oh yes, the anthem debacle shows that no one knows how to “positively impact society” with activism like the National Football League. Are the EXECUTIVES suffering from CTE?
“Sport has been an international venue for social change since before Jesse Owens swept the 1936 Olympics and opened the world’s eyes to the image of justice and equality,” said NFL executive Troy Vincent. “This historic workshop is aimed at training the next generation of athletes who wish to use sport as a powerful platform for advocacy. Our partnership is designed to equip athletes as influencers and community leaders with the mechanics to develop their advocacy platform.”
This is a bunch of corporate-speak gobbledygook, but it basically means the NFL workshop is going to encourage athletes to use their status as field stars to make a lot of activism noise. Because THAT’S what we need to be teaching the next generation of pro players. THAT’S what’s going to bring fans back to the stadiums.
What are these people smoking?