Now five weeks into the 2017 NFL season, owners and administrators around the league are scrambling to maintain profitability.
At one point in our not so distant past, the National Football League looked poised to snatch the moniker of “America’s Game” from the almighty MLB. The hype around the game of football was growing enormously, thanks in large part to the exposure of the NFL’s de facto minor league; NCAA college football. In the early 2000’s, it seemed quite likely that NFL football was to soon be king in the American sporting realm, and that a grandiose gridiron renaissance was on its way.
That all changed, however, just years ago in a perfect storm of trouble for the league.
Reports began to surface regarding the NFL’s unwillingness to address the very real problem of concussions and their aftermath, leading a great many parents to carefully consider how much exposure to football their children would be allowed to have. This led to a rise in popularity within the youth population of team activities such as soccer and baseball, with high schools around the nation beginning to shutter their entire football programs due to a lack of participation.
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Then came Colin Kaepernick and his woefully misguided protest against the police, who he himself has characterized as “pigs”. Americans were furious with Kaepernick, who chose to express his frustration by disrespecting the National Anthem and the flag in order to make his offensive point. When a bevy of other overpaid man-children joined in, that was that for the NFL’s meteoric rise.
Now, as the league faces a massive backlash and boycott of epic proportions, and with ratings and ticket sales plummeting, the league is now looking to rectify the spreading situation by possibly enacting rules against such protests.
“The National Football League’s owners will discuss at meetings next week whether to unilaterally change the league policy to require players to stand during the national anthem.
“The decision to consider the change came after weeks of persistent criticism from President Donald Trump about players protesting during the anthem, including his call for fans to boycott games if the demonstrations continue.
“In a conference call, NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart said league officials, owners, fans, and likely certain players are frustrated that the issue has dominated the game in recent weeks. He said owners will consider player input on the issue, but suggested that a rule change would not require player approval.
“’I don’t believe that the anthem per se is something that needs to be collectively bargained,’ Lockhart said.”
This desperate move comes on the heels of criticism from the highest office in the land, and at a time when a great many Americans are purely disgusted with the league’s inaction.
Furthermore, the great hypocrisy of the NFL has irked more than its fair share of Americans. After watching football players return to the league after being involved in felony animal abuse, domestic abuse, manslaughter, DUI, and murder, only to tell the world that they loathe the police, is far too much for many to stomach.