Dateline October 9th, 2017
While a fraction of NFL players continue choosing to kneel as a protest to racial injustice and cases of police brutality during the singing of the national anthem, a majority of Americans find their actions repugnant, misguided or ill-timed. Many of these same “kneelers” have life experiences dramatically different from ordinary Americans who show the proper respect and courtesy to the national anthem and presentation of the flag. It is not lost on most Americans that the “kneelers” are living a privileged life playing a game earning millions of dollars every year. As a matter of fact the average salary for an NFL player is $2.1 million a year. The average American household income in 2016 was $55,775. This disparity is quite eye-opening, perhaps players should consider this fact.
Many of the kneeling players talk about using “their platform” to highlight this issue that Colin Kaepernick began (so much for putting the team first). But what they fail to realize or simply don’t care (at this point likely the latter), they are alienating their paying customers. People go to football games or watch football games on TV to … wait, wait, wait … to watch football! People don’t want players polluting the game with their various political causes or personal agendas. They want to be entertained and distracted from the challenges in their life by simply watching a game, un-politicized. Players have a right to support causes and make statements as they see fit but the reality is they should be respectful of their fan base and not divide them through a lack of professional decorum during the national anthem or presentation of the national colors.
The NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has failed to lead. One would expect a much better performance from an executive making over $34 million annually. The NFL Executive Committee has failed to lead. Team ownership has failed to lead. The NFL brand is badly damaged. Locker rooms housing elite privileged millionaire athletes in their 20’s are running and ruining the league because the NFL is not enforcing its own rule requiring players to stand and show respect to the national anthem and flag. Fan viewership and attendance is down. Fan bases are burning team jerseys, turning off their TVs and reclaiming their Sundays. The mighty NFL has been sacked by their fan base ultimately because their fan base loves America and it appears the NFL does not.