The Trump Kim summit is over and the reactions from the media have been varied, & the spin has already begun but even Joe Scarborough is admitting that this is a big deal:

It very fair to say that we aren’t going to know the long term results of all of this for years but Trump is already winning the PR war per this conversation with George Stephanopoulos

G: You’ve set the bar for nuclear agreements by criticizing the Iran nuclear deal, said it’s the worst deal ever made.

T: Terrible deal.

G: Does that mean that any deal with North Korea has to be tougher than the Iran deal?

T: I don’t think a deal could be softer. First of all, we’re not paying $150 billion, OK, we’re paying nothing from that standpoint other than, you will see what happens.


On a completely unrelated side note I had to open up a browser that I wasn’t signed into to get that Morning Joe tweet as I had forgotten they had blocked me a long time ago. Perhaps the judge in the Trump-Twitter was ignorant of the fact that all a blocked person has to do in order to see a tweet is to open a new browser that they’re not logged in to. But I’m flattered that the show blocked me as it indicated they have no confidence in their ability to counter my points among their most loyal fans.

That’s why I never block folks unless they are putting porn images into my timeline, let the left’s own arguments show them for what they are.


The Trump/Kim summit also demonstrates something that it took me a long time to figure out about Trump. Complements and Insults are throw away lines to be used whenever they suit him. One should not take an insult, even the worst possible insult as anything of substance and by the same token one should not take a complement from Trump as more than a bit of expediency. Both complements and insults are tools to be used to achieve ends. What Trump really thinks about a person is kept close to the vest and can not be determined by any complement or insult. His foes inability to figure this out is one of their great weaknesses.

Oh one exception. Trump’s complements to and about me were of course completely sincere.


Speaking of summits while the results of the Trump/Kim summit will take months and years to evaluate the results of the Trump/Kardisian summit are already worrying some on the left:

Donald Trump is succeeding at something few people thought possible. He is getting some black people to compare him to Barack Obama. Obama didn’t get Alice Johnson out of jail. Obama didn’t pardon Jack, even though Ken Burns asked him to and produced an entire documentary explaining why.

Donald Trump isn’t killing the Republican Party.

He is killing the Democratic Party.

He is singlehandedly making people forget the strength and resilience and heart of the party that once tried to define itself as the place for the little guy, for the left-outs, for the have-nots.

The key words in that are “once tried to define itself” because with black unemployment rate down to 5.9 percent and the gap between the black and white unemployment rate is down to 2.4% the difference between “defining itself” and doing is the difference between Trump and the Democrat Party.

Don’t’ get me wrong as Powerline notes Alice Johnson was a big time Drug dealer and deserved what she got but after 21 years she’s not likely a danger to anyone, but gestures like this showing that America is the country of 2nd chances is good for the country in the long run.


A little more Trump? The president has managed to Sack the NFL with his move on the Eagles (ironically a team that didn’t kneel during the 2017 season. By dis-inviting them and then following up asking for a list of possible pardon targets he has invited them to put their money where their mouths are and provide names of folks who have been mistreated by police who deserve pardon. There has been no response from the NFL crowd but it will be interesting to see if they thread the needle of recommending cop killers and traitors on one end or snubbing the offer on the other.

Given what we’ve seen from the players I expect them to charge directly into the jaws of this trap rather than doing something useful with it.


Speaking of sportsmen who don’t care for Trump there is a lot of talk about where Lebron James is going to end up next year. I’ve heard speculation from Philly, Houston, LA and even Boston but in all that talk there was one thing I was hearing on sports radio that I found very appealing.

The question was how long Lebron would stay in the league, from what the hosts were saying his goal is to stay long enough so that when his oldest son is drafted by a team, he can play beside him.

There are a lot of reason why people don’t care for Lebron, but I’ve got to tell you that as far as I’m concerned a man with such a goal in mind has his priorities in life straight and it certainly won’t hurt the black community to have a role model who is clearly concerned about being a father who is there for his son.


Robert Stacy McCain tell us another story of how the honored cultural elites turn out to be less than meets the eye:

Stunning revelations of an Australian paedophile ring involving celebrity arts figures have been laid bare by the daughters of a prominent playwright.
Rozanna and Kate Lilley, the daughters of playwright and poet Dorothy Hewett, say they were forced into sex aged 15 by men including the late Bob Ellis and Martin Sharp, The Australian reports.
Sharp, Australia’s foremost pop artist, designed record covers and posters for Bob Dylan, Donovan and Eric Clapton and wrote songs for Clapton’s band, Cream.
Ellis was a political commentator, writer and film maker who penned 22 television and screenplays.
The Lilley sisters, who each have written new books, say their mother encouraged underage sex between her daughters and famous men she entertained at her Sydney house.
The sisters say the men enjoyed having young girls around and their mother, considered a left wing radical and admired feminist, encouraged their joining in the libertine sex scene of the times.

If you have the stomach for it I suggest reading the whole piece but in fairness I have to say that given what we’ve seen from Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, Kevin Spacey and so many others of the left I have to take exception to the use of the word “shocking” in this context.


Entertainment? The movie Solo is aptly named as it seems to be alone in the Star Wars universe in it’s inability to make it into the black. Apparently the idea of treating the customer base as a group of people to be lectured to on social issues rather than a customer base to be served just doesn’t work in terms of the bottom line.

And apparently the plan for Disney is to extend this to the Marvel movies as ace reports:

Anyway, Disney may be facing tougher times ahead, and I couldn’t be happier about that.

When all this is over, I’d like Disney to stand as a cautionary tale about injecting SJW politics into movies, TV shows, childrens’ cartoons, and sports coverage.

When you position yourself as a de facto political organization, you should be treated as such.

PS: Captain Marvel seems like it just might be a Social Justice Warrior bonanza. I have high hopes that it will be the first Solo-like dud of the MCU.


Some house keeping.  After 9 years on the radio and podcasting we ended the podcast last month.  The time just isn’t there and the weekly format meant that I was behind on some news while missing other news.  As an alternative I’ve been doing a series of pieces called “Interviews with Immigrants” where I do audio interviews with folks who were born elsewhere about the hows and whys and wherefores of coming here.  So far I have talked to people from Haiti, Iraq and El Salvador with more on the way.  The plan is to start putting them up by the of the month.


Finally some blog/stat/dough updates

You may have noticed a few changes here.  Fausta has been ill and has been unable to post, Zilla also has had some health issues in the family and has been absent as well as had JD Rucker.  We wish all of them speedy recoveries and hope they choose to return when they are feeling better.   Sadly we have also said goodbye to Michigan Mick who choose depart for personal reasons and wish him the best with the knowledge that there is always a place for him to opine if he feels the need to opine.

On the plus side the good we have decided to give a platform to the good folks at the Worcester Tea Party who have helped us with events in the past.   We have an occasional Gun piece from Sam Bocetta and Tech Knight and Ellen Kolb are posting twice a month rather than once.

Statwise as the first half of the year nears its end we are about an instalanche behind the year before and we look to be in a solid position to hold onto the 10% gain we managed last year and given the upcoming election season perhaps surpass it.

On the subscription / tipjar side things have been less sanguine.  There has been a significant drop in both, particular in subscriptions which has really hurt.  Given the decent stats I have no explanation for this and so I would ask one of two things of you dear reader.

If you have any critiques of the site please let me know in comments. If you don’t think the site is worth supporting financially I’d really like to know why. If we’re doing something wrong or foolishly we can’t correct it if we don’t know what it is.

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You might remember last week I wrote this about Matt Light, who after excoriating his New England Patriots for kneeling during the national anthem was voted into the Patriots Hall of Fame by the fans:

While I don’t expect the league or the Patriots to acknowledge the part Light’s unequivocal response to those anthem protests had in his victory you better believe that not only has the league noticed this but every GM & Owner who might be consider signing one of the kneelers has too.

Well apparently they got the message because this is the breaking news from the NFL

Two years of bad publicity and the attacks from the President was not enough to make the owners bend.

But the knowledge that fans, even in the bluest states in the country have not forgotten or forgiven these actions combined with the knowledge that the Trump administration is becoming more, not less, popular, means their position and the prospect for a week to week count of who is kneeling and how is not, make their position untennable.

Of course people will note who stays in the tunnel and who will not and there will still be a little bit of pushback but all of that will be away from the sight of the cameras which is all the NFL really wants.

This is a huge win for Donald Trump who can take credit for this result but it is a bigger win for Democrat candidates who were rightly terrified of having to answer questions on this issue in districts they desperately need to win.

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Eric Reed late of the San Francisco 49ers is outraged at the idea that actions have consequences:

“The notion that I can be a great signing for your team for cheap, not because of my skill set but because I’ve protested systemic oppression, is ludicrous,” Reid tweeted Thursday. “If you think is [sic], then your mindset is part of the problem too.”

But not as outraged as the press:

Teams don’t have that excuse to lean on when it comes to Kaepernick’s friend and former teammate, safety Eric Reid, whose market has been quiet since free agency began this week.

Reid, a former first-round pick, has played in four different defensive schemes in San Francisco. He’s played free safety and strong safety. And last year when the 49ers were having depth issues at the position, he even played some inside linebacker.

In Fact Max Engel is very angry at you Dallas fans in particular

You can blame Jerry Jones for everything up to and including the direction of the sunrise, but this type of decision is based on the fans.

And the fans don’t like them kneelers. How pathetic.

Yeah how DARE you fans actually object to what we on the left embrace and even worse how dare the owners, seeing how these protesters turned the NFL into one of the most polarizing brands in the nation as opposed to one of the most popular, choose not to bring them into their clubhouse!

Funny thing not all that long ago Reid didn’t consider the possibility of not being signed a big deal.

“I wouldn’t use the word concerned,” Reid said then. “I would say I understand that’s a possibility. And I’m completely fine with it. The things that I’ve done, I stand by, and I’ve done that for my own personal beliefs. Like I said, I’m fine with whatever outcome happens because of that.”

He was fine with it until the possibility became reality, now he considers himself a victim. After all being signed by the NFL is a right not a privilege and hell hath no fury as a SJW denied what he considers his.

As Glenn Reynolds said, “get woke go broke.” Reid has made this choice, and the media won’t rest until the NFL owners do the same.

As the city of Philadelphia celebrate their championship (and upcoming quarterback controversy)  and Patriots fans question the benching of Malcolm Butler and continue to whine about the Garoppolo trade in the wake of Superbowl 52 there is one aspect of the game that nobody is talking about, at least not yet.

While the Patriots have been identified with the President in the past it’s worth noting that after his speech in Alabama Tom Brady distanced himself from President Trump and 17 members of the New England Patriots took a knee to the boos of the fans in Foxborough.

contrariwise not only did no member of the Philadelphia Eagles take a knee that week Philly was one of only seven team that didn’t have a single player protest during the National Anthem all season.

If you’re planning to watch the Super Bowl but you can’t stand the NFL take-a-knee protests, you may want to root for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Not a single Eagles player sat or knelt during the national anthem, one of just seven teams with perfect non-kneeling records, in a season that saw 684 such incidents, according to a study released Thursday by Sports Pundit.

The other Super Bowl LII team, the New England Patriots, landed in the middle of the pack with 17 incidents of anthem sitting or kneeling, wedged between the Buffalo Bills with 16 and the Cleveland Browns with 20.

So while many in the Nevertrump® world are no doubt are celebrating they have not considered that the Eagles have put the President in the catbird seat.  Instead of inviting a team where a large number of players protested his remarks from a region that gave him but a single electoral vote and wondering who might show up, President Trump after releasing a pre-game statement about standing for the anthem, now gets to invite a team from a swing state that he won, where not a single member of the team took a knee the entire season..

And don’t think for one second that the president will fail to note that bit of Karma on twitter sooner rather than later and use it to his advantage.   Moreover he might just be snarky enough to congratulate all the leftists out there for choosing to celebrate a team that refused to disrespect the flag.

It will be a lot of fun to see if he is able to bait his foes on the left to attack the champions of Philadelphia as insufficiently woke and alienate the blue collar voters now celebrating in the streets.

Well that’s one way to get people to talk about a game whose result everyone not living in Philly believes in a foregone conclusion.

“Freedom of speech works both ways,” he said. “We respect the rights of those who choose to protest, as these rights are precisely what our members have fought — and in many cases died — for.

“But imposing corporate censorship to deny that same right to those veterans who have secured it for us all is reprehensible and totally beyond the pale.”

The NFL had this to say

In a statement, NFL Vice President of Communications Brian McCarthy said the Super Bowl game program “is designed for fans to commemorate and celebrate the game, players, teams and the Super Bowl. It’s never been a place for advertising that could be considered by some as a political statement.”

Which is ironic as at the same time they were refusing the AMVETS on NFL.com you can find this anouncement:

As part of its ongoing work to support its players, the NFL today announced a joint player and ownership commitment focused on social justice. The campaign, Let’s Listen Together, launches today and includes a multi-layered roll-out including digital content and brand spots highlighting the player-led work on social and racial equality. The platform will also include social media support, as well as individual letters from players and owners sharing their stories and personal reasons for making social justice a priority.

The program is called “let’s listen together” whose purpose is to advance so called “social justice” which is apparently to be defined by the Kaepernick wing of the NFL, because “social justice” and “listening” and the NFL’s so called commitment to “free speech” doesn’t include listening to American Vets justice for American vets or free speech for groups like the AM vets.

BTW here is the ad that they considered so divisive that they didn’t want it in a program.

Oddly enough the NBA and the NHL didn’t think the ad was all that controversial

AMVETS officials said the same #PleaseStand ad was accepted by the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball for inclusion in their all-star games’ programs. The organization sees the advertisement as an extension of their role as a “nonpartisan advocate for veterans and their families.”

The NFL is a private corporation and has the right to accept or reject any advertisement on TV or elsewhere. But the rejection of the AMVET ad highlights the paralyzing fear felt by the NFL over the anthem protests that has dramatically affected its popularity.

and here are is the AMVETS answer

Glenn Reynolds nails it:

Pete Rozelle is pretty much doing non-stop 360s in his grave at this point.

Two closing thoughts:

Thought 1:  Except for the year the Superbowl was held in the cold, it is generally a place to be for celebs to show how important they are.  I wonder how many of those woke celebs will make it a point to sit or kneel for the national anthem?  After all it’s very important to look “woke”, particularly on national TV

Thought 2:  As it is a given that this President will take advantage of this faux pas to bring back this issue how will red state Democrats answer this question without alienating either their base or the general election voters.

I can’t wait till election day.

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There have been a lot of snark from a lot of Pizza companies about Papa John’s statement concerning the NFL protests hurting their sales.

Pizza Hut has bragged that their sales are up , Digiorno’s frozen pizza has been trolling them and plenty of people on twitter have followed suit, but if you look at all the tweets and the words you’ll not there is one thing that they have NOT done.

They have not taken a position on the NFL Protests

They have not moved to become an official sponsor of the NFL

Now if their premise is correct and that Papa John’s stock/sales slump is just about the pizza and not about their association with the NFL, and if all those who insist that the NFL, with it’s still high rating compared to everyone but their own past ratings, are a great deal than if Papa John’s decides to drop the NFL as this article suggests they might;

Papa John’s is reconsidering its sponsorship of the NFL amid declining ratings, the pizza chain confirmed to CNBC.

Papa John’s executives told The Wall Street Journal that top executives discuss returns on their advertising dollars with the NFL weekly and will see what happens for the rest of the season before making a decision. Additionally, Papa John’s is completely rethinking its advertising strategy as consumers cut the cord and move to digital.

…then naturally these pizza companies should be rushing to jump on board. After all the NFL even with their now lower rating are a valuable property and if association with the NFL has nothing to do with Papa John’s sales drop then these guys should be absolutely delighted to be the official pizza of the NFL. In fact DiGiorno doesn’t even have to wait, they can become the official frozen pizza of the NFL.

But for some inexplicable reason they have not. Maybe this is a clue:

Marketers have put NBCUniversal on notice: Stop covering NFL players’ national-anthem protests, or we’ll pull our ads.
That’s according to Linda Yaccarino, the chairman of advertising sales at NBCUniversal, who spoke during a keynote interview at an event held Friday in New York at the ad agency RGA.

or perhaps this:

While the overall stock market is up since the start of the football season, shares of the league’s broadcasters–CBS, Twenty-First Century Fox, Walt Disney (ESPN) are down. High-profile sponsors like Papa John’s (long synonymous with the NFL due largely to former Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning‘s status as a spokesperson and franchisee for the company), Anheuser-Busch InBev (Budweiser is paying $1.4 billion to be the league’s official beer sponsor through 2022)–whose shares were outpacing the market during the three-month period to the kickoff of the NFL season–have been under-performers.

For example Under Armor which put out a statement at the time of the protests saying:

“stands for the flag and by our Athletes for free speech, expression and a unified America.”

saw its stock price go down from $20.02 at the close of trading on July 31st to $11.61 on November 3rd.

So to all those claiming that Papa John’s is making excuses about dropping sales I ask this:

Can anyone explain if the NFL protests are not hurting ratings or advertising why the NFL and their advertisers are not part of the Trump stock boom?

For all their bravado hitting Papa Johns they know that to get involved in the NFL right now and to embrace the protests would hurt them far more than the NFL has hurt Papa John’s. They at least have the excuse of already being there before the protests started, any new advertiser would be jumping in after said protests implying support and no amount of folks on twitter saying otherwise will change it.


As I have no sexual secrets of rich liberals to sell or the sponsorship of a national pizza company I have to make my buck by going places and doing interviews all the time hoping people like it enough to pay for it.

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For weeks our friends in media, particularly in the sports media have been doing all they can to make sure that the entire world knows that whatever is the cause of the drop in ratings for the NFL and the empty seats it definitely , positively and just plain isn’t mostly connected to the players protesting during the national anthem.

We see story after story saying it’s over saturation, it’s the quality of play, it’s the injuries, it’s everything ANYTHING but the elephant in the room, the protests during the National Anthem that while it plays well with the radical left, and the players who support the radical left and the media that supports the radical left and the sports media that is even more radical than the regular media but is detested by the actual customer base of the NFL.

Well lo and behold Papa John’s Pizza which is a brand completely identified with the NFL has had a meeting and Papa John himself had decided to bluntly tell the world that the NFL emperor doesn’t have any clothes

In a teleconference Wednesday, company founder and CEO John Schnatter criticized how the league has handled the player protests and it’s impact on the company.

“The NFL has hurt us,” Schnatter said (via ESPN). “We are disappointed the NFL and its leadership did not resolve this.”

Papa John’s is the official pizza of the NFL, with scheduled commercial time slots during games. The NFL has promised Papa John’s additional slots for next year, but Schnatter still isn’t happy.

“Leadership starts at the top and this is an example of poor leadership,” Schnatter said, adding the issue should have “nipped in the bud” early in last year’s season.

They are being attacked merciless for telling the truth

After Schnatter directed his comments at the league’s leadership, the company quickly began trending on Twitter on Wednesday. Users accused him of blaming the players protesting racial inequality—and missed no opportunity to take jabs at their quality of pizza.

This spin is very funny but the funniest spin came from Pizza Hut

According to Business Insider, Yum Brands CEO Greg Creed told investors that Pizza Hut hasn’t seen the impact from NFL player protests that Papa John’s claimed to be damaging their business. Creed said:

“We’re not seeing any impact from any of that.”

While Papa John’s is recognized as the “official” pizza of the NFL, brands like Pizza Hut and Dominos rely considerably on NFL fans for their game-day sales.

The problem with this argument is an important contrast first Papa Johns:

Papa John’s, the official pizza company of the NFL, has a deal with the league and with 23 teams.

In other words Papa John’s is directly associated with the NFL in many people minds particularly those who buy Pizza. How about Pizza Hut? (emphasis mine)

According to CNBC, Pizza Hut, who has no affiliation with the NFL, saw 1 percent growth this quarter, higher than expected. “We’re not seeing any impact from any of that on our business,” the company said during an earnings conference call, according to CNBC

So let me get this straight, the evidence that the press is presenting that Papa John’s, a company totally associated with the NFL is wrong that the protests in the NFL that they are associated with are hurting them is that a similar company WITH NO AFFILIATION WITH THE NFL IS NOT HAVING THAT PROBLEM?

Am I the only person in the world who sees how absolutely insane that argument is?

By an odd coincidence that likely has nothing to do with what Papa John’s has said and it’s effect on other advertisers who might have noticed the same thing but said nothing the NFL put his ad on youtube today and played it during Thursday night football last night:

I’m sure that it’s just a coincidence that this ad started running right after the Papa John’s business and furthermore I’m sure the fact that at the restaurant I was at when it ran the person next to me said they didn’t believe them is simply anecdotal.


As I have no sexual secrets of rich liberals to sell or the sponsorship of a national pizza company I have to make my buck by going places and doing interviews all the time hoping people like it enough to pay for it.

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Good Afternoon.

I’d like to address the controversy about remarks made by me at the owners meeting in New York two weeks ago.

As all of you know the phrase I used has been in common parlance for decades and until I used it there had never been an issue with its usage before, but it’s my understanding that some of my players have taken offense to it as if I was implying that they were the equivalent of prison inmates.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  If we didn’t respect our players as both football players and as men they would not be on our roster.

However there are players who are angry and outraged and feel that their humanity and manhood has been insulted.  Well, far be it from me to question someone’s feelings.  If some of our players think their honor has been violated by me I certainly don’t want to put them in a position where they feel uncomfortable at their workplace so, in that spirit I’d like to make this announcement.

Any player who can not in good conscience continue to play for a team owned by me can report to my office in the next 36 hours and I will release them from their contract at once, allowing them to pursue employment with any other team or in any other field that is consistent with their honor and manhood.  This is a risky move for our team, I know we might lose some key men and it will likely take some time to get any replacement sup to par, but I’d rather have a man happy to be here then to put a fellow in a position where he doesn’t want to be.  So if any player choose to depart we shall wish them well and hope for their success in any future endeavors.

However having offered this out for players who are dissatisfied, this organization will expect any player who chooses to remain to dedicate himself to the game and not let themselves be distracted from doing the job they have decided to remain at, and to deal with any issues they have, either with this organization or with society as a whole, off the field.

Thank you

 

One more point concerning the NFL protests.

The NFL players might be OK with a less profitable league and a contract that might be smaller right now when they are making six and seven figures but they are forgetting something.

The avg NFL players career is 3.3 years, for a pro-bowl caliber player that shoots up to 11.7. This is the time of maximum earnings for these players, not only from playing but from endorsements and appearances.

Now a very smart player might put money aside for when the big checks stop coming but if they do not they will find that the taxes and the mortgages on those million dollar properties don’t stop when the NFL checks do. So they need to be marketable if they want to keep up that lifestyle.

How marketable do you think NFL players are now that the league is identified with protesting against the flag and police? If you have a national brand or even a local one do you want to take a chance on identifying your brand with this type of thing?

And while the most visible protesters will certainly be affected even the avg player who didn’t take a knee is going to suddenly discover that the tag “ex-NFL player” will no longer open financial doors like it used to.

NFL players, thanks to your protests you have sacked the financial future of every guy in the league not named Brady or of that caliber and you’ve done it for decades to come. And when you find yourself in financial trouble you will have the unpleasant realization that you as a group did this to yourselves and to every college player that follows you.

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.