Maybe the NFL should be called the Humpty Dumpty of sports in America. Just like Humpty Dumpty, the NFL was once sitting pretty lofty but has now taken a great fall when it comes to America’s popularity for sports. Looks like many Americans are moving on to major league baseball or college sports.
It’s no one’s fault but the NFL. They brought this whole NFL kneeling protest on themselves. What did they actually expect to happen? Did they really think that Americans would not be offended by the NFL players protesting and disrespecting our flag and military? Did they really think this would NOT affect their profits and sponsors? Come on man!
A recent poll by Fox News revealed that 46 percent of respondents held a favorable opinion of the NFL while 41 percent viewed the league unfavorably.
That is a remarkable shift in popularity from 2013 — the last time the poll asked this question — when 64 percent viewed the NFL favorably and only 19 percent viewed it unfavorably.
“If the NFL were a political candidate, alarm bells would be going off in campaign headquarters,” stated pollster Chris Anderson, the Democrat member of the bipartisan Fox polling group.
Digging into the meat of the poll results, it was asked directly whether respondents viewed the act of kneeling in protest during the anthem as appropriate or inappropriate. Some 52 percent of those polled viewed the act as inappropriate, while 44 percent deemed it an acceptable form of protest.
It is worth noting that Democrats were heavily favored in the ideological breakdown of poll respondents, with 47 percent identifying as either “solid” or “lean” Democrat while only 35 percent similarly identified as Republican and 18 percent claimed they were Independent.
That means the shift in sentiment toward the NFL is not solely a right-wing phenomenon, though a bulk of the disappointment in the league did appear to come from Republicans who voted for President Donald Trump — possibly due to the explosion of player backlash after Trump made pointed remarks about the protests.
It should also be pointed out that this poll isn’t some sort of outlier either, as similar results were obtained in early October in a separate poll provided to the Washington Examiner.
That poll, a survey conducted by the Winston Group, found that the NFL had gone from being one of America’s favorite professional sports league to the least favorite from August to September of this year.
In August, 57 percent of Americans held a favorable opinion of the NFL as compared to 23 percent who viewed it unfavorably.
Just a month later, the favorable rating dropped from 57 to 44 percent, while the unfavorable rating climbed from 23 to 40 percent.
It should be pointed out that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has had multiple opportunities to take action to stop the slide and reverse the trend, but has failed to do so.
Instead, Goodell has catered to the protesting players at the expense of the fan base, speaking out of both sides of his mouth to assert that the NFL wants all players to stand respectfully for the anthem while simultaneously assuring players that nobody will be punished if they insist on doing otherwise.
The fans have seen all of this and responded by changing the channel or turning off the TV — as evidence by declining ratings — and by the appearances of half-filled stadiums across the league, choosing to stay home from games.
There’s only one way to stop this insanity! The NFL needs to STAND UP to the players. The NFL players need to STAND UP for our flag. Period.
Of course, the reality is, the damage is done. The NFL has ruined professional football as it is today. The player protests, the changes in rules and more have ruined what used to be considered ‘Football Sunday’.
For all of the fans that used to look forward to a peaceful Sunday spent watching football with friends, family and colleagues….it’s gone. The NFL had to ruin it with ‘in your face’ politics. Americans didn’t tune into football to watch or hear politics. Americans saw and heard that every other day of the week. They wanted a break. They wanted a game they could enjoy. That’s gone and so are the high TV ratings, the fans from the stands, the profits from the jerseys, and much more.
Will the NFL regain their composure? Will the fans return in the future? I don’t think so. The peaceful enjoyment of watching football on ‘Football Sunday’ is gone and so are the fans. The NFL has ruined football and it will never be the same. You can’t undo what’s already been done. Like trying to put toothpaste back in the tube, it just doesn’t work. The damage is done.
When will NFL executives realize that politics and sports don’t mix? The NFL owners (the employers) had the right to force the NFL players (the employees) to work (play football). They blew it. They allowed the NFL players to protest on the job during work hours. What did they expect?
If these players REALLY wanted to make a difference each of them should have done something productive about social change in their community on their OWN time! Instead, the NFL players and protesters put politics IN OUR FACE on ‘Football Sunday’! Patriotic Americans responsibly reacted. Now, NFL is the ‘Humpty Dumpty’ of sports.
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the King’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty back together again.