Yesterday brought us a rare, watershed moment in both the National Football League, and in the first years of President Trump’s first term.
After feuding with the embattled league over their unwillingness to discipline players who refuse to stand for the National Anthem, Donald Trump doubled down on his criticisms of the ineffective Roger Goodell and his band of wealthy wimps by calling for a boycott of the entire NFL. While football is life for a great many Americans, the direct call to action by the President had a resounding effect.
Not only did the NFL suffer from some of the worst ratings in recent times during yesterday’s marathon of games, but the President’s admonishment of the disrespectful players had the added effect of re-appropriating the protest entirely. What was once an homage to the whims of the Black Lives Matter terrorist hate group is now considered part of the radical left’s “resistance” to the President…something that should draw the ire of BLM organizers, but definitely won’t.
On a day where nearly a quarter of the league flipped a virtual bird to our national symbol, one man from Pittsburgh stood alone at the end of the player entrance tunnel, saluting his country and singing along with the National Anthem. Now, his jersey is the most sought after piece of NFL merchandise in the nation.
“A spokesman for Fanatics, which runs the NFL’s online store, confirmed to ESPN that, over the past 24 hours, more Villanueva gear, including jerseys and name and number T-shirts, has been ordered than that of any other NFL player.
“Villanueva beat out New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for the top spot. Philadelphia Eaglesquarterback Carson Wentz, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers rounded out the top five over the past day.
“A former Army Ranger who earned a Bronze Star and served three tours in Afghanistan, Villanueva was the only Steelers player who came outside the tunnel during Sunday’s national anthem, after the team collectively decided not to be on the sideline during the song. Pictures and video of Villanueva standing, with his hand on his heart, filled social media networks.”
While teams in the NFL teeter between success and failure at an incredibly rapid rate, it seems that patriotism never goes out of style in America.
While the media has been touting these protests as “constructive” for nearly a year, we must remember that these “news” outlets are conducting the narrative however they see fit. It may seem like a great number of Americans are okay with the NFL-wide disparaging of our national pride, the truth is much, much different.
Just ask those who will be sporting a Villanueva jersey next weekend.