Short an abject Apology to Fans No Meeting Will Solve the NFL’s Protest Problem

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Short an abject Apology to Fans No Meeting Will Solve the NFL's Protest Problem

Yes­ter­day I argued that the there was an actual rea­son why the San Fran­cisco 49ers might as well sign Colin Kaeper­nick (210 last year as a starter) as they can’t do any worse with him as they have been doing with­out him (06) but there is one other rea­son why it doesn’t really mat­ter any­more if the insti­ga­tor (or as I sus­pect the boyfriend of the REAL insti­ga­tor) of the NFL protests is signed.

It’s because the dam­age has already been done.

For the own­ers and the play­ers who by con­tract (rightly) get a large share of rev­enue the deci­sion to first tol­er­ate Kaepernick’s solo protest and then to react to , rather than ignore, the President’s remarks at his famous Alabama appear­ance for the defeated Luther Strange has burst the dam.

They have man­aged to turn the most pop­u­lar sport in the nation into one of the most divi­sive brands in the country.

After more than a year of ram­pant NFL player protests, the National Foot­ball League is now seen as one of the most divi­sive brand names in Amer­ica, a new report finds.

As reported in the New York Times, a new Morn­ing Con­sult sur­vey found that the NFL is viewed as “polar­iz­ing,” by nearly as many peo­ple as view Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s hotels that way. The sur­vey found that the NFL now fig­ures in among the top ten most polar­iz­ing brand names. The top ten most divi­sive list includes Trump hotels, CNN, NBC News, The New York Times, MSNBC, Fox News, the NFL, ABC News, Huff­Post, and CBS News.

They have man­aged to tank the rat­ings to the point where CBS’ stock is suf­fer­ing:

Declin­ing NFL tele­vi­sion rat­ings will lower CBS earn­ings, accord­ing to Credit Suisse.

The firm cut its third-​quarter EPS esti­mates by 5 per­cent, cit­ing CBS’ softer Sun­day NFL rat­ings. The media com­pany reports on Nov. 2.

Which means bad news when rene­go­ti­at­ing contracts:

The down­grade comes at a time when the NFL is nego­ti­at­ing two impor­tant dis­tri­b­u­tion deals that end after this sea­son: Verizon’s $250 mil­lion a year stream­ing agree­ment and the $450 mil­lion a year Thurs­day Night Foot­ball deal for games shared by CBS and NBC.

Through five weeks, the league’s rat­ings are sub­stan­tially lower this sea­son, accord­ing to Nielsen data obtained by Sport­ing News.:

The league’s aver­age TV audi­ence through Week 5 of the 2017 sea­son dropped 7% vs. the same period of the 2016 sea­son, and the aver­age game audi­ences are down 18% com­pared to the first five weeks of the 2015 season.

How bad is it? While at a bar I actu­ally saw an ad run for peo­ple to get on the Patri­ots sea­son ticket wait­ing list which is undoubt­edly the result of the deci­sion of 17 pats to kneel that first week after the Trump speech:

They have not kneeled since but appar­ently the dam­age is already done. Which is why the net­works spent this week pre­tend­ing the protests weren’t hap­pen­ing and the league which spent a year deny­ing that the anthem protests were hurt­ing their bot­tom line is des­per­ate for a solution.

But given this story:

NFL Com­mis­sioner Roger Good­ell, own­ers of each team, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the play­ers’ union and play­ers them­selves will meet Tues­day to dis­cuss ways to “move from protest to progress.”

Among the top­ics will be enhanc­ing their plat­forms for speak­ing out on social issues, and the league’s pol­icy that sug­gests but does not man­date play­ers stand­ing for the national anthem.

There is a quiet man­date, though, for those dis­cus­sions: fig­ur­ing out how to get the atten­tion back on those social issues, not how they are being publicized.

And get­ting the atten­tion back on football.

I can tell you it will not help. The very fact that “social issues” are on the agenda gives it away. This is a foot­ball league and it’s pur­pose is to play foot­ball. If play­ers want to get involved off the field that’s fine but it’s not the league’s job to push the left’s polit­i­cal agenda.

Most incred­i­ble of all, they have done this in defi­ance of their ticket buy­ing fan base on behalf of a bunch of lib­er­als whose only inter­est in the game is being seen at the spec­ta­cle of a super bowl and an ultra lib­eral sports media who con­vinced them they it was the thing to do.

I think short of an abject apol­ogy the owner, from play­ers indi­vid­u­ally and the play­ers union as a whole for dis­re­spect­ing the flag (an apol­ogy that many fans would love to accept) the days of the NFL as it once was is over.

Update: This is a start

The Jack­sonville Jaguars have apol­o­gized to local mil­i­tary lead­ers for demon­strat­ing dur­ing the national anthem in Lon­don last month…“This was an over­sight and cer­tainly not intended to send a mes­sage that would dis­par­age you, our flag or our nation,” Lamp­ing wrote to Bill Spann, direc­tor of Jacksonville’s mil­i­tary affairs and vet­er­ans department.

The line that really hit me was this:

“The notion never entered the minds of our play­ers or any­one affil­i­ated with the Jack­sonville Jaguars, but today we can under­stand how the events in Lon­don on Sep­tem­ber 24 could have been viewed or misinterpreted,”

Yes you read that right, the notion never entered the minds of either the play­ers or the man­age­ment of the Jack­sonville Jaguars that dis­re­spect­ing the US flag while stand­ing for God save the queen on for­eign soil might be insult­ing to America.

That tells you every­thing you need to know.

Yesterday I argued that the there was an actual reason why the San Francisco 49ers might as well sign Colin Kaepernick (2-10 last year as a starter) as they can’t do any worse with him as they have been doing without him (0-6) but there is one other reason why it doesn’t really matter anymore if the instigator (or as I suspect the boyfriend of the REAL instigator) of the NFL protests is signed.

It’s because the damage has already been done.

For the owners and the players who by contract (rightly) get a large share of revenue the decision to first tolerate Kaepernick’s solo protest and then to react to , rather than ignore, the President’s remarks at his famous Alabama appearance for the defeated Luther Strange has burst the dam.

They have managed to turn the most popular sport in the nation into one of  the most divisive brands in the country.

After more than a year of rampant NFL player protests, the National Football League is now seen as one of the most divisive brand names in America, a new report finds.

As reported in the New York Times, a new Morning Consult survey found that the NFL is viewed as “polarizing,” by nearly as many people as view President Donald Trump’s hotels that way. The survey found that the NFL now figures in among the top ten most polarizing brand names. The top ten most divisive list includes Trump hotels, CNN, NBC News, The New York Times, MSNBC, Fox News, the NFL, ABC News, HuffPost, and CBS News.

They have managed to tank the ratings to the point where CBS’ stock is suffering:

Declining NFL television ratings will lower CBS earnings, according to Credit Suisse.

The firm cut its third-quarter EPS estimates by 5 percent, citing CBS’ softer Sunday NFL ratings. The media company reports on Nov. 2.

Which means bad news when renegotiating contracts:

The downgrade comes at a time when the NFL is negotiating two important distribution deals that end after this season: Verizon’s $250 million a year streaming agreement and the $450 million a year Thursday Night Football deal for games shared by CBS and NBC.

 Through five weeks, the league’s ratings are substantially lower this season, according to Nielsen data obtained by Sporting News.:

The league’s average TV audience through Week 5 of the 2017 season dropped 7% vs. the same period of the 2016 season, and the average game audiences are down 18% compared to the first five weeks of the 2015 season.

How bad is it?  While at a bar I actually saw an ad run for people to get on the Patriots season ticket waiting list which is undoubtedly the result of the decision of 17 pats to kneel that first week after the Trump speech:

They have not kneeled since but apparently the damage is already done. Which is why the networks spent this week pretending the protests weren’t happening and the league which spent a year denying that the anthem protests were hurting their bottom line is desperate for a solution.

But given this story:

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, owners of each team, representatives of the players’ union and players themselves will meet Tuesday to discuss ways to “move from protest to progress.”

Among the topics will be enhancing their platforms for speaking out on social issues, and the league’s policy that suggests but does not mandate players standing for the national anthem.

There is a quiet mandate, though, for those discussions: figuring out how to get the attention back on those social issues, not how they are being publicized.

And getting the attention back on football.

I can tell you it will not help. The very fact that “social issues” are on the agenda gives it away. This is a football league and it’s purpose is to play football. If players want to get involved off the field that’s fine but it’s not the league’s job to push the left’s political agenda.

Most incredible of all, they have done this in defiance of their ticket buying fan base on behalf of a bunch of liberals whose only interest in the game is being seen at the spectacle of a super bowl and an ultra liberal sports media who convinced them they it was the thing to do.

I think short of an abject apology the owner, from players individually and the players union as a whole for disrespecting the flag (an apology that many fans would love to accept) the days of the NFL as it once was is over.

Update: This is a start

The Jacksonville Jaguars have apologized to local military leaders for demonstrating during the national anthem in London last month…”This was an oversight and certainly not intended to send a message that would disparage you, our flag or our nation,” Lamping wrote to Bill Spann, director of Jacksonville’s military affairs and veterans department.

The line that really hit me was this:

“The notion never entered the minds of our players or anyone affiliated with the Jacksonville Jaguars, but today we can understand how the events in London on September 24 could have been viewed or misinterpreted,”

Yes you read that right, the notion never entered the minds of either the players or the management of the Jacksonville Jaguars that disrespecting the US flag while standing for God save the queen on foreign soil might be insulting to America.

That tells you everything you need to know.