The National Football League continues its self-created death spiral.
As game attendance, and (far more importantly from a revenue standpoint) TV ratings plunge, we have this brilliant gem, via excerpts from Chris Chavez’s (dutifully biased) article at Sports Illustrated:
The NFL Players Association announced it has filed a grievance challenging the league’s new national anthem policy.
In May, NFL owners unanimously approved a new anthem policy that requires players to stand if they are on the field during the performance of the Star-Spangled Banner. The new policy gives players the option to remain in the locker room, if they want. The NFL subjects the teams to a fine, if a player or a member of team personnel does not show respect for the anthem.
Players have been kneeling, sitting and raising fists during the national anthem in an effort to raise awareness for racial and social injustice in America since Colin Kaepernick took a knee before a preseason game in 2016.
You read this, you can’t believe your eyes. Players are told they can opt out of standing for the National Anthem by staying in their locker while it is played. From a PR standpoint that is a disaster, but, it can be argued, it gives the players a right to address the anthem in their own personal way.
That, however, is not good enough. The National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) has filed a grievance. Why? Because, in its own words:
‘… this new policy, imposed by the NFL’s governing body without consultation with the NFLPA, is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement and infringes on player rights.
And what, exactly, would the NFLPA do differently? Presumably their demand is that players, prior to a football game, not be restricted to imposing their social views on the dwindling number of people who call themselves NFL fans by staying in the locker room. They want to do it using an in-your-face confrontational style out on the field.
Chris Chavez, making his position clear, tries to help them out, by claiming this is nothing other than “an effort to raise awareness for racial and social injustice in America”.
But that is utter BS. NFL players can protest any time they want, before or after the game. If they specifically do so during the National Anthem, however, it is a clear, direct attack on the country itself – a country every one of these pampered multi-million dollar prima donnas has the right to leave any time he cares to – but, with maybe a couple of exceptions, declines.
In other words, their message to the fans is “We think this country is a racist, unjust hellhole…but we’ll do you a favor and stay here to make millions of dollars that you supply by buying tickets and paying for premium cable TV services”.
And then these geniuses wonder why the game attendance and TV ratings are cascading over a cliff?
Y’know, maybe you don’t have to be too smart to play football….