Last Friday night, Sept. 22, 2017, President Trump ignited a firestorm when he told a rally in Alabama:
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s fired.'”
Trump, of course, was referring to National Football League (NFL) players, beginning with San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick last season, who show their disrespect and non-allegiance to the United States by kneeling or sitting, instead of standing, during the National Anthem, ostensibly to protest the Left’s tired old trope — racism.
That the NFL as a corporate body tolerates its players’ disrespectful conduct is outrageous because its own rules clearly stipulate that players must stand at attention during the National Anthem.
“The NFL Football Operations ‘bible’ is the Game Operations Manual — nearly 200 pages of procedures and policy for regular season games alone….
The NFL takes infractions of Game Operations rules seriously — so much so that clubs risk fines as high as $500,000 for violations ‘affecting the competitive aspects of the game.’ Some violations, such as late arrival for kickoff, can result in yardage penalties, and failure to comply with a uniform policy can result in a player’s temporary removal from the game.
The league takes violations seriously because it takes its responsibilities seriously. Good governance is an essential component in producing a fair and entertaining game.”
Here are the NFL’s rules governing the National Anthem, found on pages A62-63 of the NFL Game Operations Manual (Time):
“The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem.
During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.”
Whereas blacks make up the majority of NFL players (67.3% in 2014), the majority of NFL fans/viewers are whites or Caucasians (77% in 2015).
Available evidence shows that the fans are boycotting the NFL.
Beginning in October 2016, reacting to Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the National Anthem, a Rasmussen survey found that as many as a third (32%) of U.S. adults said they were less likely to watch NFL game telecasts because of the Kaepernick-led player protests. Whites, especially, were twice as likely as minorities to say they were less likely to watch. (The Daily Wire)
True to the survey’s findings, the NFL’s TV ratings have slumped.
CNNMoney reports, Sept. 20, 2017:
The NFL’s TV ratings are down so far this season and if that news isn’t distressing enough for the biggest ratings driver on TV, the latest slump follows a 2016 season marked by unstable ratings that had pundits and analysts scratching their heads….
NBC‘s “Sunday Night Football” in the first two weeks of the regular season is down 7% in viewership compared to last year; ESPN‘s “Monday Night Football,” is down 5%; and the averages of Sunday afternoon games on Fox and CBS are down 11% and 19% respectively, according to Nielsen data.
The NFL blamed Hurricane Irma for the drop in ratings.
On Sept 25, three days after Trump’s urging that the NFL fire players who disrespect the flag, CNNMoney reports:
NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” game, the Washington Redskins’ lopsided 27-10 victory over the Oakland Raiders, nabbed an 11.6 overnight rating compared to a 12.9 rating for a match-up between the Chicago Bears and the Dallas Cowboys one year ago. That’s a drop of roughly 10%.
To come up with overnight ratings, Nielsen takes the percentage of households watching in 56 U.S. markets and comes up with an overnight average — so an 11.6, for instance, means that 11.6% of households in those 54 markets tuned into the game on NBC on Sunday night….
Fox took a bigger hit. Overnight ratings for its singleheader slate of games were down 16% compared to last year‘s week 3 numbers.
Only CBS’ overnight ratings increased compared to last year’s week 3 coverage, but only by a modest 4%.
Another sign of fans boycott is the drop in ticket prices.
SF Gate reports that resale tickets for the Rams-49ers game on Sept. 21, 2017 were being offered on StubHub for as low as $14, “cheaper than buying a pair of $7.50 pretzels through the Levi’s Stadium app and comparable to the price of a beer and a hot dog at the the three-year-old arena. According to the team’s seat licensing map, the cheapest original face value for any seat is $85.”
Ralph Garcia of TicketIQ says “The current get-in price of $17 is the Niners’ cheapest game this season” and that the 49ers’ average list price has declined 32% since 2014, according to their internal numbers.
To sign a petition to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on a national pledge to boycott the NFL, go here.
H/t FOTM’s bongiornoc
A new poll on fox5sandiego.com found that 89% of people who took the poll are in favor of NFL owners firing players who refuse to stand for the National Anthem.
The poll is still active. Go here to take the poll.