Did you really think the latest action by the NFL would be ignored? Well, maybe by the MSM, but certainly not by those who believe you should keep politics out of sports and just play. It is time the NFL learned a lesson…just like Target.
When Target ran into the issue with transgenders allowed in female washrooms, the majority of Americans just left….with their wallets. They boycotted Target. Target’s stock then dropped over 30% and they lost about $15 billion. Target is still reeling from the news.
Last year advertisers spent $4.2 billion in ads, and that was after the viewership was down almost 1.5 million. You can’t expect this spending to continue, especially if more stadiums continue to look empty.
Football season is a time fans look forward to all year.
Nevertheless, with the NFL seemingly encourage players to protest the national anthem, that trend may be diminishing. Many fans have expressed their frustration with the league by turning off their televisions and choosing not to attend games.
Last week was the first week of the league games, and one of the first things people noticed was empty seats in the stadiums.
On Twitter, Sportswriter Ian Rapoport noted that the empty seats did not go unnoticed.
“NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart on the attendance in LA & SF: ‘Any time we empty seats that something we want to address.’ Focused on sellouts,” he tweeted.
Sellouts may be happening less and less as the league becomes mired in politics, and fans get fed up with it.
This is how the stadium looked in Los Angeles during the Rams game:
And this is how the San Francisco 49ers game looked during the second half:
Empty seats in stadiums indicate a serious problem for the NFL. When stadium bleachers have gaping holes where fans should be sitting, it looks especially bad. It indicates that fans do not care enough to pay for a ticket and watch their favorite teams play.
Empty seats also hit the multi-million dollar franchise where it hurts — the pocketbook.
Sports Illustrated reported that in the past year, more players with the NFL have protested the anthem. In the third week of the preseason games, players in at least six games exhibited some form of protest during the anthem.
One of the unintended consequences of NFL players protesting the anthem could be the destruction of their own league, and the league’s encouragement of this kind of behavior doesn’t help the situation. In fact, it angers patriotic fans who simply want to watch a game and not be bothered by political and anti-American statements.
When is the NFL going to wake up? They must think they are immune to these same issues. When will businesses like Target, Starbucks and the NFL learn…consumers are also patriots, patriots that will just take their money elsewhere.
A nationwide poll conducted by The Washington Post and University of Massachusetts Lowell found 19 percent of professional football fans say their interest has decreased in recent years. Among that pool of fans, 24 percent stated, in response to an open-ended question, that political issues had made them less interested in the sport, including 17 percent specifically citing the anthem protests or Kaepernick. That compares with 7 percent who mentioned injuries or violence in the sport as the reason they lost interest.
As Arizona Cardinals player, Larry Fitzgerald pointed out, the only time players should be taking a knee is in prayer, especially when there is a player down on the field.
With Cardinals running back David Johnson on ground, Fitzgerald came to his side as he took a knee next to Johnson and reached out to touch his foot as he said a prayer over his teammates injury.