THE NFL Issue

NFL lgoThere are a lot of other issues that the NFL issue has shed light on.  From first amendment freedoms in workplaces, to publicly disrespecting veterans and families of all those who sacrificed their life for their country, to racism and claims of oppression from multimillionaire athletes. What is also now more visible than ever, is how the NFL is weak in that it is influenced by all good and bad political demands.

Understanding The NFL

Lets look at the NFL its self.  Kenny Washington, in 1941, was the first African American player AND was the highest paid player on his professional team.  77 years later and 70% of NFL players drafted and hired by teams are African American.  The average salary of a NFL player is 1.9 million dollars a year (compared to the NBA, average salary $6.4 million [2016], 74.4% African American [2015]).  In 1969, the average professional football player salary was $25,000 which would equate to roughly $156,400 now.  Considering all this, NFL players get paid very very very well and we don’t hear an out cry for diversity either.

We need to also consider that these players that go into the NFL draft, are coming from pretty prestigious colleges.  Most of whom the college is payed for via football or other academic scholarships.  Needless to say, these players graduate from prestigious colleges debt free.  Some may not come from IV League schools, but they get to attend and graduate from a college debt free regardless.  Then the NFL offers HUGE paychecks to play a sport they love.

Now, paying people a lot of money straight out of college can make or break some people.  Since 2000, there have been an estimated 896 players arrested [1].  That’s roughly 49 NFL players a year being arrested.  The three most predominate crimes; DUI, Drugs, and Domestic Violence [2].  Let us not forget the 2005 Minnesota boat sex party and 2006 Michael Vick dog fighting ring.  Granted, the NFL imposes rules and fines for player conduct on and off the field.  This is noble.  And may have actually helped curve the misconduct.  Currently, the NFL has a lower arrest rate than the national average [3].

Whats The Problem?

The NFL brings in 13 billion dollars [2016] of revenue.  The commissioner himself gets paid 34 million dollars annually.  With all that revenue, there is A LOT of money at stake.  It seems like the knee jerk censorship by the NFL came about from banning Superbowl ads.  Lets take aside the banned ads where their primary focus was explicit sexual.  With those aside, we have remaining political ads, or ads the NFL deems political.  In 2009, Catholic Vote had their Superbowl commercial banned because it was pro-life.  In 2010, Focus On The Family had their seemingly pro-life commercial banned, even though if featured and was about a popular NFL player in that time, Tim Tebow.  In 2017, 84 Lumber had their Superbowl commercial banned because it featured a U.S.-Mexico border wall similar to the one proposed by President Donald Trump.  In 2018 a veterans group was going to run an ad for a plea for donations and used the hashtag “#PleaseStand”, and it was banned by the NFL.  The NHL and NBA both accepted the “Please Stand” ad in their programs, according to the group.

Overtly sexual ads aside, it is clear the NFL banns ads from one primary political ideology; conservative.

But the NFL conservative censorship does not end with ads.  In 2016, a Titans linebacker was going to wear 9/11 Attack tribute cleats in remembrance of the world trade terrorist attacks.  The NFL threatened to fine the player if those cleats were worn.  But due to the public outrage the NFL backed off of that threat.  In that same year, around the same time, the NFL denied the Dallas Cowboys’ request to wear a decal on their helmets during the season that would have paid tribute to the five Dallas police officers murdered during an ambush.  YET, in that same year, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat during the National Anthem in protest of police violence and that was perfectly acceptable.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a response statement: “The Super Bowl program is designed for fans to commemorate and celebrate the game, players, teams, and the Super Bowl. It has never been a place for advertising that could be considered by some as a political statement.”  Yet, they have allowed political statements from other ideologies; such as airing protests; kneeling for the national anthem.

What about prayer?  In 2014 a Muslim player was flagged for praying after scoring a touch down [4].  Why did the ref feel the need to penalize the player?  The ref had no idea which religion the player was but knew that it was a religious gesture.  Why the default negative response to a religious gesture?  After another public outcry, the NFL came out and said that he should not have been flagged; but that exposed something that the refs are taught; an anti religious stance by default.

Remember when Tim Tebow would kneel on the field before each game in prayer in 2011?  He was criticized by NFL commentators, fellow players and just about everyone.   After players would sack him, they would kneel and mock him.  It even became a phrase “getting Tebowed” and memes sprang up.  He was ridiculed and told to keep his faith and beliefs to himself.  It is true, his display of religious belief was not banned by the NFL; BUT the culture of the NFL shamed it none the less.

TAKING A STEP BACK

Looking at all the actions of the NFL from 2005 to now it is clear that when it comes to political ideologies, one is favored more than another.  The NFL is anti conservative.  They censor and shame veterans, pro-life messages, tributes to 9/11 and murdered police officers, and religiousness.  ALL the while, defending disrespect to veterans and murdered police officers under the claim of ‘first amendment rights’.  But where are the first amendment rights for all those who the NFL censored?

Seeing as how a lot of the NFL fan base is more fair minded, their hypocritical decisions have costed the NFL millions of dollars.  The NFL has lost 20-25% of its viewers in less than 2 years [5] and at the close of the 2017 season, lost 30 million dollars in ad revenue [6].  All their bias and political favory has lead to a big and continuous decline in viewers.  AND THAT is what the NFL cares about.

They don’t care about your rights.  They do favor one political ideology over another, but NOT when it cuts into their bottom line.  The NFL is ultimately worried about MONEY.  That’s why they can throw under the bus all those players who they defended kneeling for the national anthem.  The veterans they have been neglecting and allowing to be disrespected, suddenly, they care about.  The recent NFL policy change regarding the national anthem is about MONEY.

First Amendment Violation?

We hear about how the NFL is now violating the rights of the players they are requiring to stand on the field for the national anthem… but they, either ignorantly or maliciously, ignore is that fact that the player IS NOT REQUIRED TO COME OUT OT THE FIELD FOR THE NATIONAL ANTHEM.  The player is FREE to continue to not respect the anthem or flag.  The only difference is that the NFL does not want to pay for their public displays of protest.  Where were these people at and the out cry for the rights of all those who have been censored?  Suddenly 1st Amendment rights matter for the kneelers, but not for everyone else?

Secondly, when have employees EVER been allowed to protest AT WORK?  There is NO law or court ruling that gives employees the right to protest while on the clock.  It has generally been a no brainier that you should be working at work.  In the case of the NFL, you should be playing football and abiding by NFL polices, while at work, working for the NFL.  Students in school do not have to stand for the national anthem, and players to not need to come out of the locker room for the national anthem.  Just their non-presence is a continuation of their protest.  Boom, still able to exercise their fist amendment at work.  Consider that a gift.

THE NFL

What all this means for the NFL is that they don’t give a crap about your rights or conservative ideologies.  Once the NFL starts making its revenue back, they will just go back to censoring and banning conservative ideals.  The end game is MONEY.  They will claim political avoidance but they have already failed that avoiding political bias.  That is a blatant lie.  Welcome to the new NFL, where MONEY is king and conservative ideals are expendable.  But that is THEIR FREEDOM.  They are free to create policies such as this.

#BoycottNFL, #PleaseStand, #TakeAKnee, or whatever, it doesn’t matter.  The NFL will support and create policies that assist bringing in more revenue and viewers.  How about everyone spends time with family and friends in stead of sitting in front of a TV watching spoiled IV league college grad, millionaire brats, complain about oppression.

 

P.S.  Protesting the flag and national anthem is spitting in the face of all those who have died for it and their families who bear the cost.  But, you are more than free to spit on their grave, that’s on you.  #Freedom

 

 

  1.  https://www.usatoday.com/sports/nfl/arrests/
  2. http://nflarrest.com/
  3. http://nflarrest.com/NFLArrestRate.php
  4. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2014/09/30/nfl-penalizes-muslin-player-for-praying-after-chiefs-touchdown/?utm_term=.ed15f7554b25
  5. https://www.forbes.com/sites/briangoff/2017/10/23/nfl-losing-viewers-at-alarming-rate-but-faces-limits-on-its-response/#477e39e64212
  6. http://www.breitbart.com/sports/2018/01/28/nfl-lost-30-million-ad-revenue-cratering-tv-ratings/

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