Timothy Benton | Jun 15, 2018 | 0
Taking A Knee
Taking a Knee
We are faced or more like forced to partake in the discussion of if it is OK to show what many see as disrespect while the flag is flown. We saw that this week with the Jacksonville Jaguars, they even had the owner on the field kneeling with the players, Pittsburgh said they would not come out for this event, you have a singer in Detroit sing the national anthem, then in protest took a knee.
What started as a trickle with Kaepernick has turned into an avalanche with whole teams doing this, now you even have Jr. High Schools doing the same, but what about the fans? This is where the problem comes in, even though polling is shown by some supporters, I would ask who did they poll ? Further, if you did polling on the West Coast or the East Coast which are far more liberal, I promise you will find a much, much different reaction then if you start doing the same thing in Texas or the Midwest. I think the best thing you can look at is ratings, these show clearly what fan reaction is to this; this could be the best marker of fan reaction, if you look at the week 2 ratings, they from last year were down by 24%, the one game they always count on to help boost games is the game of the week, it would have been Greek Bay vs Atlanta, yet that game even was facing an 11% loss of viewers from the previous year, in week one the Seattle/Green Bay game which should have drawn up record viewers instead saw an 18% reduction from the previous year, and the same exact drop across the board from the year before. What is even more interesting is if you look at the ESPN ratings that have embraced this idea, they have taken the same drop in viewership, a company that has faced constant growth brought in John Skipper in reaction to this controversy, doubled down and started to bring about political interest into their broadcast, after the start of elections they then went into as much of an openly anti-Trump pro-Clinton stance as CNN and other news that were progressive in their leanings, they now are faced with layoffs and a reduction as they are trying to stop the backwards slide, instead of going back to a neutral stance decided to even get more political, now are suffering the consequences, if you wish to read more, please look at the article The Rise And Fall of ESPN.
We now have President Trump that has decided to weigh in on this subject, has voiced what many of us feel, by doing what they are doing, they are disrespecting the sacrifice of so many, turned their nose up at them, this, in turn, is causing a rapid loss in fans, you have many that are refusing to go to another game until this stop’s, more will never once again give any type of support to the team or the game they love. I would say at this time, the NFL is at a juncture, either they can continue down this path, risk losing many more fans as the reaction to this grows, in the process of losing 20 – 30% of their viewership and fan base, they stand to lose even further when new negotiations come up, networks are not going to be willing to pay the money they have in the past for damaged goods, this means in turn the players making ridiculous money are no longer going to make this, may take up to a 50% loss of income, we all know how the players union will react, they will demand more of the profits, then go on strike if the owners don’t give into their demands. I must caution at this point, they have a brand that is seen already as having been damaged, how do you think fans are going to react to having a game they love, are already being assailed by the politics that none of them want anything to do with, if then faced with a strike you may see the NFL if it comes back will be only a shadow of what it once was. Suggest the management and owners look to Pro Baseball, and what the NFL is facing is far, far more serious.
Before I finish, I want to share from whom I think is most important, the fans, how about we look at their tweets, remember in this game instead of kneeling and showing disrespect, the Steelers choose not to come outside until after the National Anthem, still, they were met with boos. These same fans the players never thought to check to see what their reaction was, many of them vets who had fought in battles, not for the national anthem, they fought for their friends next to them, for the FLAG they each wore on their uniform, did so with pride, the same FLAG they saw draped over the casket of their buddies when they had made the ultimate sacrifice and were being loaded up on a flight back home, then only to have that FLAG given to the widow or parents of that hero which had draped over their casket as the family and friends said goodbye, did these players ever think to see what their reaction was, the ones that in the end made it possible for them to play the game? Here are tweets from these fans, the ones they have ignored:
Mike Tomlin and coaches on the sideline, Alejandro Villanueva standing at the tunnel, rest of team not present. #Steelers
The Steelers were not on the sidelines during the national anthem. LT Alejandro Villanueva, who served in the Army, stood by the tunnel
So, the question is what do we do? I think this is up to every individual, I myself am a die-hard Green Bay fan, if they would have all taken the knee, I would have never attended a game again, they would have lost my support for the rest of my life, and the players that did not get up, I promise I will never purchase a Jersey or have a shred of respect for them again, wish Green Bay would trade them, don’t care how good they are, if Rodgers did this I would hate it but support trading him as well.