Ranger Rick: NFL players’ protests cause worry, and they should

The NFL is in dire straits, their estimated $14 billion business earnings last year are being jeopardized by those kneeling during the national anthem to protest. Let us forget what they doeth protest about, because most of them don’t seem to know when asked. Let’s just ask this:

If you are protesting law enforcement, why not organize a protest in front of a police station? They can inform the news stations their intentions and get every camera in the area at the protest and it will be local, regional and nationwide in coverage. Instead, they protest during the national anthem, where is their sense of reality by angering the viewers disrespecting the anthem and flag?

These are 20 something-year-old multimillionaires (the average salary is $2 million per year) and some of the superstars are making more than $20 million per year. Their commissioner, Roger Goodell, has received more than $212 million in compensation since 2006 – nice gig!. The average value of an NFL franchise is valued at about $2.5 billion. The stadiums are usually updated or built at taxpayer expense. Again, the taxpayers are duped into thinking “their team” will move if they don’t get a new stadium and they relent and vote to bear the burden of erecting a new stadium or renovating an existing.

I happened to view a recent before game interview and looked in the stands, sparsely attended at the time. During the game, there were many empty seats. Viewership is down sharply, and the NFL is very concerned about future revenues.

Mr. Goodell tries to play both sides of the fence, placating owners and trying to show compassion for the player protests and failing at both. His political correctness is not working and owners are seeing the dollars melt away. The league has forgotten who pays the bills. Never ignore, insult or talk down to paying customers. You’ll just discover they can turn off the television, radio, and quit buying tickets to attend games populated by showboating big kids in pretty uniforms.

Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, wanted to nip this in the bud last year when Colin Kapernick protested. If they would have taken action then and disciplined him with fines/time off for his actions, it may have taken care of the problem. Now, they have let this go on too long, trying to corral this in now is too little, too late. The damage is already done. Don’t they remember what happened to baseball when players decided to strike during the season in 1994? It took professional baseball years to get its audience back.

Will those pro football viewers ticked off and turning the channel or not buying tickets come back? Only time will tell.

The players are oblivious to the damage done to their sport and teams. As kids and teenagers talented in the game of football, they have had their butts kissed for years. Colleges vie for their talents, and some dirty tricks are exposed intermittently with payouts for playing, new cars, payment for non-existing jobs, drugs, prostitution, etc. Now in the professional ranks, they still act like kids and think they are controlling their futures.

Gentlemen, think again. Without spectators paying to watch you play, you’d be stuck in jobs all the rest of us do to support your lifestyles. You and Mr. Goodell — wake up and smell the coffee before there isn’t any coffee left!




  • The Pro-Football players have a right to protest, we have the right not to watch them. Money to pay the hundreds of millionaires who play the game comes from the fans, no fans no money.

  • We all have the right to watch other entertainment and it’s important to remember those millionaires some have vilified are, with the exception of those who play for the Green Bay Packers, are all playing for franchises owned by billionaires.

    I won’t argue that some of the audience slippage is because some fans are upset about players kneeling. Strange thing is the networks broadcasting games had stopped covering the National Anthem years ago until other media and some politicians chose to make kneeling a story.

    There were about 75 programs including scheduled NFL games for the fall TV schedule. Of the 75 only 3 or 4 returning programs kept the same rating or increased over previous year.

    There is a proliferation of NFL football. 32 teams with games on Thursdays, Sundays, Sunday Night and Monday Night. NFL added Monday Night games in 1970. Add in college football that also Thursday nights, Friday nights and from noon until the last West Coast game kicks off at 10:30 PM.

    We can also talk about how the demographics of football audiences has changed. The NFL is losing the 18-34 male demo at a faster rate than the 35-54 male demo loss. The only demo that’s holding firm is the 54 and older.

    We can also bring up the CTE news and accounts on how the NFL obfuscated brain injury findings or ignored them. Fewer parents are interested in watching players risk brain injuries with their children.

    The NFL has PR problems like their recently canceled policy of charging the DOD for military appearances.

    The NFL is in trouble and it’s a lot more some players kneeling to protest during the anthem.

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