Woe be unto the National Football League, which had an opportunity to pull themselves out of the anti-American gutter before it was too late.
We have a feeling – we may be wrong, but we suspect – that the NFL could have still salvaged itself after Disgraceful Sunday, when half the players in the league knelt for the national anthem in a show of defiance against President Donald Trump. If the owners and powers-that-be had come out after that sorry demonstration, apologized to fans, military vets, and anyone else who was offended, and vowed to crack down on future protests, we believe that many fans would have given professional football a second chance. Anger that weekend was raw and the urge to boycott was fierce, but the American love for football runs deep. We have a feeling that most fans, if not all, would have found a way to forgive the NFL for that shameful display.
But we’ll never know, because the NFL has continued to allow – if not actively encourage – these protests to continue. Every single person in the front office knows damn well that they are going to lose in a culture war that pits the NFL against the United States of America, and they…what? They don’t care? They are terrified of looking bad at the local liberal country club? They don’t want to anger the terrorists over at Black Lives Matter? We don’t know exactly what they’re thinking, but they’ve allowed this problem to fester to the point of no return.
And it’s starting to take a toll on the league’s bottom line.
“Sunday Night Football” on NBC features a game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans. Despite being a highly competitive matchup filled with suspense, the game drew a rating of 10.6, which is down 3% from last weekend, making it the lowest rated game of the season so far. It is a 4% drop from the same night a year ago, and that was with the competition of a highly-anticipated debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump stealing many viewers away from their typical football entertainment. That the NFL is experiencing these kinds of ratings here and now at the start of the season portends bad news for the rest of the fall.
While a few owners, like Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys, have come down hard against the protests, the rest of the league is firmly behind the kneeling players. And until the NFL wakes up and realizes that there is no future for the organization as long as it continues down this unfortunate road, we expect to see ratings, tickets sales, and general fan interest plummet in the weeks and months to come.