Tag Archives: NFL

NFL owners adopt new policy to address anthem protests

NFL blowback

The damage is done. I’ll never go back to caring about the NFL.

From Yahoo: NFL owners approved a new policy Wednesday aimed at addressing the firestorm over national anthem protests sparked by Colin Kaepernick and polarized by President Trump, permitting players to stay in the locker room during the ”The Star-Spangled Banner” but requiring them to stand if they come to the field.

Commissioner Roger Goodell said the change was approved unanimously by the owners at their spring meeting in Atlanta, but even that was up for debate.

The head of the San Francisco 49ers – Kaepernick’s former team – said his franchise abstained from the vote. CEO Jed York said he wasn’t comfortable with a process that didn’t directly involve the players.

”I want to work with my team to make sure everything we do is about promoting the right types of social justice reform and getting to a better America,” York said.

The NFL Players Association said it wasn’t consulted about the new policy and would challenge any changes that violate the collective bargaining agreement.

Clearly, Goodell and most owners just want to put the issue behind them.

”We want people to be respectful of the national anthem. We want people to stand,” the commissioner said. ”That’s all personnel, and to make sure they treat this moment in a respectful fashion. That’s something that we think we owe. We’ve been very sensitive on making sure that we give players choices, but we do believe that moment is an important moment and one that we are going to focus on.”

In the surest sign that players were not part of the discussions, any violations of the policy would result in fines against the team – not the players. That could be a way to avoid legal challenges from the players’ union, since fines against a team would not be subject to collective bargaining.

The league did say teams could impose their own workplace rules for those who fail to show respect for the flag and anthem, but didn’t say what those policies might be. Because the new policy is a change in the terms and conditions of employment that was not collectively bargained, any attempts to fine individual players who continue to protest in public would surely be opposed by the union.

The owners spent several hours addressing the contentious issue – which made its way to the White House.

Kaepernick, the former 49ers quarterback, began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016, a quiet but powerful protest against police brutality and racial inequities in the justice system. Other players took up the cause, and the gesture carried on during the 2017 season even after Kaepernick left the 49ers and failed to land a job with another team.

Trump turned the debate into a campaign issue, saying the NFL should fire any player who takes a knee during ”The Star-Spangled Banner.” The NFL hasn’t gone that far, but Kaepernick has yet to land another job and one of his former teammates and fellow protesters, safety Eric Reid, is also out of work.

Both have filed collusion grievances against the NFL.

While the owners touted the change as a compromise that everyone should get behind, the union expressed immediate skepticism.

”The NFL chose to not consult the union in the development of this new ‘policy,”’ the NFLPA said in a statement. ”NFL players have shown their patriotism through their social activism, their community service, in support of our military and law enforcement and yes, through their protests to raise awareness about the issues they care about.”

The statement added, ”The vote by NFL club CEOs today contradicts the statements made to our player leadership by Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Chairman of the NFL’s Management Council John Mara (co-owner of the New York Giants) about the principles, values and patriotism of our League.”

York said he intended to meet with his players to discuss the change.

”They know I will stand up for them. I’ve stood up for them in past, I will stand up for them in the future,” York said. ”I hope we can have a good, respectful conversation: Is it the best policy for us to write a check to the league (for further on-field protests) or can we find a better way to use this money.”

The owners sent a bit of a convoluted message with the new policy – appeasing those who feel the national anthem must be treated with reverence, while allowing some sort of conduit for players to protest as long as they stay out of the public eye.

See also:

DCG

Drama queen: Kaepernick receives Amnesty International award and decries “lawful lynchings” in the US

Colin Kaepernick

Oh, the personal “sacrifice” of the warrior Kaepernick…

Hyperbole like this will ensure he remains an unemployed NFL player.

From Daily Mail: Amnesty International gave former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick its Ambassador of Conscience Award on Saturday for his kneeling protest of racial injustice. 

Onetime San Francisco 49ers teammate Eric Reid presented Kaepernick with the award during a ceremony in Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands.

In his acceptance speech, the award-winner described police killings of African Americans and Latinos in the United States as lawful lynchings.

‘Racialized oppression and dehumanization is woven into the very fabric of our nation – the effects of which can be seen in the lawful lynching of black and brown people by the police, and the mass incarceration of black and brown lives in the prison industrial complex,’ Kaepernick said.

Kaepernick first took a knee during the pre-game playing of the American national anthem when he was with the 49ers in 2016 to protest police brutality.

‘How can you stand for the national anthem of a nation that preaches and propagates, ‘freedom and justice for all,’ that is so unjust to so many of the people living there?’ he said at Saturday’s award ceremony.

Other players joined his protest in the 2016 season, drawing the ire of President Donald Trump, who called for team owners to fire such players.

In response to the player demonstrations, the NFL agreed to commit $90 million over the next seven years to social justice causes in a plan.

Kaepernick wasn’t signed for the 2017 season following his release in San Francisco.

Reid, a safety who is now a free agent, continued Kaepernick’s protests by kneeling during the anthem last season. Reid has said he will take a different approach in 2018.

Kaepernick paid tribute to his friend for his own role in the protest movement. ‘Eric introducing me for this prestigious award brings me great joy,’ Kaepernick said. ‘But I am also pained by the fact that his taking a knee, and demonstrating courage to protect the rights of black and brown people in America, has also led to his ostracization from the NFL when he is widely recognized as one of the best competitors in the game and in the prime of his career.’

Amnesty hands its award each year to a person or organization, ‘dedicated to fighting injustice and using their talents to inspire others.’

Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty called Kaepernick ‘an athlete who is now widely recognized for his activism because of his refusal to ignore or accept racial discrimination.’

Previous recipients of the award include anti-Apartheid campaigner and South African President Nelson Mandela and Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who campaigned for girls’ right to education even after surviving being shot by Taliban militants.

‘In truth, this is an award that I share with all of the countless people throughout the world combating the human rights violations of police officers, and their uses of oppressive and excessive force,’ Kaepernick said.

DCG

Kneeler Kaepernick still out of a job; Seattle Seahawks cancel meeting with him

Colin Kaepernick

Oh, the personal “sacrifice” of the warrior Kaepernick…

More time for him to focus on his social justice warrior career.

Apparently kneeler and cop hater Kaepernick was suppose to train with the Seattle Seahawks this week. But the Seahawks have pulled the plug on that due to Kaepernick’s social justice stunts.

USA Today reports that the NFL team postponed the meeting after Kaepernick would not say if he would stop kneeling during the national anthem. From their report:

The Seahawks have not decided when or whether to reschedule the meeting with Kaepernick, according to Schefter.

Kaepernick, 30, has remained a free agent since last offseason. He first began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 as a form of protest against police brutality and racial inequality.

Last October, Kaepernick filed a collusion grievance against the NFL, alleging that he had been denied employment as a result of his stance.”

Well Kap, your “stance” HAS ruined the NFL. No wonder no one wants the PR nightmare that you will bring to any team.

See also:

DCG

Male dancing cheerleaders join NFL team, the LA Rams

la rams cheerleaders

Sorry NFL. Adding male prancers won’t bring me back to watching the game. Your “kneelers” sealed your fate.

From USA Today: For the first time, an NFL team will have men as part of its official spirit squad.

Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies, named to the Los Angeles Rams squad this week, will be the first ones to perform the same routine as the female dancers. The Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts have men who perform stunts with female cheerleaders, but don’t dance.

Peron and Jinnies are both classically trained dancers and have been performing their entire lives.

But what made them take this groundbreaking step?

“I thought, ‘Why not me? Why can’t I do this?’ ” Peron said in an interview Wednesday on ABC-TV’s Good Morning America.

The men were among the 76 finalists chosen for the 40-person squad. Jinnies said the auditions were unlike any he’s ever been through before.

“This one was about three weeks long and we had a bunch of rehearsals in between and an extensive interview process, but it was really humbling and amazing to be invited every time you came back,” he said.

DCG

Colts player Edwin Jackson, Avon man killed by suspected drunken driver in country illegally

From Indy Star:

UPDATE: The driver accused of killing Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson and Uber driver Jeffrey Monroe was an undocumented immigrant who used a fake name and has been deported twice in the past.

Indiana State Police detectives have determined the driver was 37-year-old Manuel Orrego-Savala, a citizen of Guatemala. He gave police the alias Alex Cabrera Gonsales after the early Sunday crash that killed Jackson and Monroe.

Officials said he had been deported in 2007 and in 2009.

Original story: Indianapolis Colts player Edwin Jackson and an Uber driver were both killed early Sunday after being struck by a suspected drunken driver along Interstate 70.

According to the Indiana State Police, the crash happened shortly before 4 a.m. Sunday along the westbound lanes of I-70, just west of Holt Road.

Police said Jackson and 54-year-old Jeffrey Monroe of Avon were standing near a stopped vehicle when a black Ford F-150 pickup truck drove onto the emergency shoulder and struck them both.

“Edwin was an amazing young man that filed our lives with joy and pride,” his family said in a statement to 11alive.com. “He was kind, thoughtful, humble, passionate about football and loved his family. We ask that all who were blessed to have crossed his path remember him and his amazing smile.”

Read the rest of the story here.

DCG

NFL rejects veteran’s group #PleaseStand Super Bowl ad

please stand nfl ad

As if I needed another reason to despise the NFL.

From Fox News (by Todd Starnes): The National Football League has rejected a Super Bowl advertisement from American Veterans urging people to stand for the national anthem.

The nation’s largest veterans service organization had been invited by the NFL to place an ad in the Super Bowl LII program. AMVET’s advertisement included a two-word message – “#PleaseStand.”

“It’s a simple, polite request that represents the sentiment of our membership, particularly those whose missing or paralyzed limbs preclude standing,” wrote National Commander Marion Polk in a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

American Veterans accused the NFL of outright censorship by rejecting the advertisement.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy defended the league’s decision to ban the American Veterans’ advertisement noting that the game day 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,” McCarthy told Army Times.

So, the NFL believes that politely asking people to stand for the Star-Spangled Banner is akin to making a political statement?

The NFL has been rocked by national anthem protests throughout the season — leading to a massive decline in television viewership and game day attendance. Still, the NFL and most team owners refused to order players to stand for the national anthem.

Instead, the commissioner and many owners shamefully turned a blind eye as football players took a knee and disrespected not only the flag, but the brave men and women defending our freedom.

Perhaps the Goodell was concerned that a “political statement” in the game day program might take away from the “political statements” being made on the football field when players take a knee.

“Freedom of speech works both ways. 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,” Polk wrote. “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.”

McCarthy told Army Times they gave American Veterans the option of changing their proposed advertisement to read, “Please Stand for our Veterans.” But the NFL said they never heard back from the group.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the NFL’s disdain for American patriotism is not just isolated to the gridiron. It’s apparently infested the front office.

“Veterans are good for more than just military aircraft flyovers, photo opportunities during halftime, or props to sell camouflage-style NFL apparel; although, the NFL’s stance on not allowing the veterans’ unfiltered voice to be heard says otherwise,” Polk wrote to Goodell.

I wholeheartedly concur and might I suggest that freedom-loving Americans stand up to the National Football League by turning off the Super Bowl.

DCG

NFL TV ratings drop 10 percent, networks see revenue decline

NFL blowback

Imagine my distress.

From Yahoo: NFL ratings dropped almost 10 percent in 2017 from the previous year according to Nielsen data released on Thursday, a further decline in the decreased TV viewership from 2016 that saw an 8 percent drop.

The average number of games watched by viewers throughout the season dropped from 18.8 in 2015 to 16.5 in 2017.

Several factors appear to have influenced the decreased interest from fans in watching games, with a Los Angeles Times report pointing to evidence that suggests controversy over players kneeling for the national anthem played a role early in the season.

The L.A. Times spoke with Fox Sports executive Mike Mulvihill, who shared some numbers from the network. Fox’s Sunday package saw an 8 percent decline in Weeks 2 through 10 when the anthem controversy was at its peak, spurred on by commentary from President Donald Trump.

During Weeks 11 through 17, the drop in viewership shrunk to 2 percent for the network.

Viewers upset with players kneeling and others not satisfied with the NFL’s handling of the Colin Kaepernick situation that saw the quarterback miss the entire season appear to have tuned out.

A more compelling slate of national games and better quality of play as the season wore on and the playoff picture cleared up likely played a factor in the late-season shift as well.

Mulvihill also pointed to a changing demographic that consumes its entertainment in non-traditional media, most notably YouTube, in this case. “The audience for NFL highlights on YouTube have become pretty substantial,” Mulvihill said. “Those highlights can be eight, nine or 10 minutes long, and I do worry they can be serving as a disincentive from watching the live game.”

Mulvihill is clearly concerned about a younger audience less interested in sitting down for three-plus hours to watch a single game play out. He also theorized that more people are watching the news on Sundays with the volatile political climate being a big television draw, piggybacking on the wide-held belief that the election last year played a role in the declining 2016 numbers.

Despite the declining numbers, NFL viewership is still king on broadcast TV, by a wide margin. AdAge analysis shows that NFL broadcasts accounted for 37 of the 50 most watched broadcasts in 2017. NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” remained No. 1 prime-time show on TV.

But that doesn’t mean network heads aren’t concerned. With CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN each paying at least $1 billion for broadcasts rights, the stakes are high. And, according to an anonymous network executive who spoke with the L.A. Times, each of those networks “made a lot less money than they expected” in 2017.

DCG