National Anthem Polls and Politics

300px-National_Football_League_logo.svgAs I discussed in a column in the Hill, the controversy over the anthem protests has expanded into the area of constitutional law with suggestions that comments by President Donald Trump could be part of the basis for his impeachment. While I do not place much credence in such calls (though they constitute a worrisome trend), I do find the political dimension of the controversy fascinating. Polls show that a majority of citizens still share the President’s view that such protests are not appropriate though this percentage has fallen a bit and a majority also rejects Trump’s call for players to be fired for such protests. In the meantime, there is a controversy directed not at Trump or the NFL, but broadcasters like ESPN, which reportedly avoided showing booing fans during these games. There appears to have been a very large and vocal opposition in the stands to the appearance of kneeling players that was not shown as the cameras focused instead on the kneeling players while discussing their protest.

Critics have charged that the networks intentionally panned away from the crowds to avoid showing opposition to the protest and that most of the commentators seemed not only supportive of the protesters but opposed to Trump’s position. One staffer told Sporting News that camera operators were ordered to avoid crowd shots in case they showed fans counter protesting the protests. There is also a suggestion that the networks did not want to irritate the NFL, which controls their access to games.

The protests do represent a substantive threat to the bottom line for the NFL, which is struggling with falling stadium attendance and television audiences. I have been a long critic of the NFL and its history of self-dealing by NFL officials as well as highly questionable practices (particularly during the disgraceful period where Congress did nothing as the NFL claimed to be a non-for-profit while wildly profiteering). My biggest complaint is the NFL is unabashedly anti-fan. Not only does the NFL employ an array of thug-like firms to muscle anyone using common terms like “Superbowl,” but the organization routinely rips off fans to a point that many are now alienated from the game. Indeed, every year I blow a gasket over the deal by the NFL with DIRECTV – making fans change their cable supplier if they want to watch games. Even when you have Direct TV the cost is exorbitant and much higher than any other support. I have DIRECTV which shares a culture of ripping off customers that is only matched by its partner the NFL. We are going to cancel our subscription as soon as our contract expires.

I pay for baseball and hockey games online and I find that the MLB and NHL are fair in their contracts and I willingly pay the cost for watching Cubs and Blackhawk games. It is only the NFL that is ridiculous in shaking down fans. Where the MLB seems to work to make it as easy as possible for fans to get access to games, the NFL openly struggles to make it as expensive as possible.  This is one of the reasons that Commissioner Roger Goodell cannot even appear at the Draft without being booed by every fan present. Yet, owners retain Goodell because they appear to like his priorities in putting fans dead last in any decision and bilking them at every turn. When a die-hard Bears fan like me refuses to pay the monopolizing fees of the NFL, you know that you are pricing yourself out of your own market.

There is also clearly an impact (according to polls) of these protests on fans. A sizable number of fans polled indicated that they do not watch the games due to what they view as disrespect for the anthem and the flag. Moreover, according to an exclusive Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll, 58 percent said that “professional athletes should be required to stand during the national anthem at sporting events.” There are also 40 percent who support the protesting players and that number is up from 28 percent last year – a significant increase. Moreover, 57 percent of adults do not think the National Football League should fire players who kneel.

Trump is also right that many fans object to the new rules which are turning the NFL into the NBA with continuing violations and penalties. Trump once owned a football team in a now defunct league. I do not agree with Trump’s criticism of those rules, which seek to deal with the very troubling concussion problem in the sport. However, I do think that there are too many penalties for things that do not contribute significantly to that danger. I have always felt that the pass interference rules are bizarre in finding even slight contacts to be interference. The same is true with the rule on roughing the kicker or passer. Many times players simply collide with a player because they kicked or passed the ball at the last minute. The rule is supposed to allow for some leeway but it seems that there is little judgment being exercised.

What is clear is that owners are facing a sizable fan base opposed to the protests and that the NFL itself has alienated fans to a point that would be unthinkable in any other market. The NFL is constantly seen as strong-arming cities for petty perks for its officials while holding up fans at every turn. That is hardly a workable business model. The NFL and Commissioner Goodell has long treated football fans as a captive audience who have no choice to pay them dearly for any service. It turns out that they are less captive than thought and increasingly escaping to watch college football. After, it is the same game without the major drawback of professional games . . . the NFL itself.

106 thoughts on “National Anthem Polls and Politics”

  1. The Star Spangled Banner is a song of War. War is Satanic.

    Exodus 20:13 KJV – God’s Commandment is “Thou shalt not kill.” Anything contrary to this is a lie. America sanctions killing and blasphemes God.

    Servants of hypocrisy will attempt to argue that there is a difference of meaning in the translations of the words, kill and murder. Jesus put this lie to silence when he said, “Love your enemies.” (Matt. 5:44), (Luke 6:27) To hit, shoot, bomb, execute, kill, etc. are not in the definition of love. Killing someone is not loving them. “God is Love.” (1.John 4:8,16)

    The U.S. Government needs an exorcism

    Jesus Casting Out Demons
    Most Relevant Verses

    There have been many big lies throughout history but one lie is infinitely larger than all the rest. It is the age-old lie that God approves or encourages men to kill each other. This is a totally Satanic lie no matter by whom it is told or where it is written. God does not tempt with evil, only Satan does that. God does not tempt with evil nor is He tempted. (KJV James 1:13) Anywhere it is written in the Old Testament that God’s Will was for a man to kill is a complete and utter lie.

    True Christianity is nonviolent.

  2. Again I will repeat myself, if black cops were shooting white people at the rate white cops shoot black people would America pay the attention in the same way? I think not.

    1. FishWings: “If white players kneeled because black cops were shooting white people in record numbers, this country would be in a open civil war. But that’s not the case is it?” Now you are asking the same question in a slightly different fashion. I will recopy my prior answer.

      When will you and others like you face the facts instead of illiterate garbage sent to you in the hope that ignorance can lead to acceptance of ideological garbage that is untrue. You have to first look at facts and until then your opinion on anything is worthless.

      Has BLM type protests made things better or worse? 900 more blacks killed in 2016 than 2015.
      Total black homicide-victims 7,881
      Who is killing Blacks?
      2016 fatally shot by police 233 blacks mostly armed and dangerous with only 16 victims that were “unarmed” which doesn’t mean that the policeman had a reasonable choice.

      “In 2015, a police officer was 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male was to be killed by a police officer. ”

      Black males make up 42% of cop killers and are only 6% of the population.

      White killers of blacks was only 243 (Total black homicide-victims 7,881)

      “The reason for the current increase is what I have called the Ferguson Effect. ”

      “If there is a bias in police shootings, it works in favor of blacks and against whites.”

    2. How about this one, several years ago NYTimes came out with blacks are responsible for 80% of the
      Mass Shootings in the USA.
      But you only saw the white heads on national news, didn’t ya?
      “Who is going to Bell the Cat?”

    3. The reality is – there are no cops shooting any race at any rate that is alarming to rational Americans. They just aren’t. Those are the facts. Peddling that lie is no longer working. Must be frustrating. Try something new.

      1. Yet he pays no attention to “the rate” at which black thugs are shooting black non-thugs at Baghdadian levels every week in Democratic strongholds like Chicago. If Black Lives Matter surely they matter all the more when they are ended by other black lives.

        One might go on to say if Black Lives really Matter, Democrats wouldn’t support a practice that has left our population forever reduced by 50,000,000+ men and women of color.

        1. Few should doubt BLACK on BLACK crime is out of control. Why? Clearly, democrats have literally NO interest in revitalizing ghettoes. Do progressives not believe a culture of perpetual dependency is essential for future democratic votes? Is that not achieved by snookering & hoodwinking minorities into believing only democrats care about their well being? In short, from the slave plantations of yester-year to the urban ghettoes of today, democrats hope to cultivate votes by bamboozling the public.

    4. I agree some LEOs are racist, including the scum bag LEO who a judge recently (and wrongly) found “not guilty” after the LEO premeditatedly murdered a black drug suspect for the “crime” of evading arrest.

      But fake and/or misplaced outrage like your post causes ever increasing number of black murders.

      LEOs kill blacks 2.5 x as often as they kill whites. Lacking proper context, this stat seems to support claim of racism. But statistical context blows up that false narrative.

      DOJ stats show that in NYC, blacks commit 35x as many burglaries as whites. Blacks commit murder 38x as often as whites. Blacks illegally discharge weapons 51x as often as whites. Compared to white LEO’s, black LEOs shoot black suspects 3.3x as often.

      The so-called “Ferguson Effect:” fake and/or misplaced outrage cause protest which cause LEOs to enforce the law with less vigor and enthusiasm, which increases the number of black murder suspects. Don’t believe it?

      In 2015 black murder victims increased by 900 (YOY). In 2016 black murder victims increased by another 900 (YOY). In 2016 7881 black Americans were murdered, 2x the total number of Americans who died in the Iraq war. 90% of the murderers were black.

      Taking all the above stats, the number of blacks killed by LEO’s is not an outrage, but rather reflects overall restraint. Yes, even one innocent black death by a LEO is too many. Yes, stories like Seattle Seahawks player Michael Bennet are consistent with charge of racism. Yes, many blacks have stories of being targeted only because of their skin color.

      But taking the totality of the daily experience of LEO’s, the numbers show restraint, not a pattern of racism.

      1. DOJ stats show that in NYC, blacks commit 35x as many burglaries as whites. Blacks commit murder 38x as often as whites. Blacks illegally discharge weapons 51x as often as whites. Compared to white LEO’s, black LEOs shoot black suspects 3.3x as often.

        No clue where you dreamed up these stats. The black population in general has a propensity to commit homicide that exceeds the remainder of the population by a factor of about 7. The most intense distinction between blacks and non-blacks is in the realm of violent crime (murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault). The disparity with regard to burglary and auto theft is much less intense. In New York City in particular, were your statistics on the propensity to commit murder correct, blacks would be responsible for 92% of the city’s murders and non-blacks in New York City would have perpetration rates characteristic or rural Ireland. They don’t.

  3. I’m going to say something controversial here, but it dawned on me a few days ago that those calling for impeachment don’t really want impeachment. That’s right. They have no interest in the spectacle of a trial akin to the one that went on in the 1990s. Rather, they want the idea of impeachment out there to stir the pop and electrify their base. After all, if they really wanted impeachment they’d be able to articulate what happens AFTER impeachment – I’ve asked that question dozens of times here and elsewhere and thus far no one left of center has been able to answer.

    1. We would have Pence, enough to scare anybody. At least with Trump everybody knows he’s just full of shi*. Pence would give the masters of the universe everything and anything they want. And the American people would not like what they see.

    2. The answer is the Senate votes on whether to impeach or not impeach. If impeached, any president is forced from office. If impeach, any president is ridiculed & marginalized. And, if impeached, any president, is not likely entitled to live, endlessly, on the tax payer!

      1. You told me how impeachment works. I’m asking, what happens AFTER impeachment? Why isn’t the left articulating this? “Impeesh fodie fie” and then _________________.

    3. Impeachment does not mean Trump would be out of office. Clinton was impeached. He retained the office. Impeachment is just a dressing down.

      1. Had the Senate voted for it, Clinton would have left office. My point stands. The left does not want to actually follow through with impeachment. They get too much mileage out of it as an idea but not as an action. What would impeachment give them at best? A Ryan-Hatch administration?

  4. Always look at things objectively and remember the biggest POS in any given story is the one who wrote the story if it’s a media story or fairy tail or whatever. Sold the TV over 20 years ago. Haven’t subscribed to nor looked at a newspaper since 1997. Life is great and I don’t have to watch where I step to miss the liddo biddy piles. I’m going to exempt this particuar venue though it has it’s days but .as for the current general accross the board worth of the media? If it cost a nickel or a dime I’d keep my money anytime. .

  5. I think much of the current controversy was due to the overly frequent Trump practice of verbal bomb throwing to create distractions. Called protestors SOBs and for their firing brought in a bevy of peer outrage at Trump not the Anthem or flag. Trump needs to let the players throw the football and refrain from his own bomb throwing

    1. Follow up on one suggestion for mandatory education. All of them in university or college should be automatic in the ‘rough arts’ along with feminist cultural warriors but the jocks should have a minor in business and investing. That way the ones that made it could qualify for SAG cards and the others could be come high school coaches, principals and teach the the odds of making the cut. That way we could differentiate between the Tom Brady’s and the what’s his name’s that played for what’s their name’s.

      Seriously does any one remember what this was all about in the beginning? What’s his name wanted money based on what he had been the team owners wanted to pay him in his new rule as a futre has been. so instead of standing grandly he grand standed and ended up with no team at all.

      It had nothing to do with anything except money and bad advice from his agent and a Hillary Clinton size sense of arrogance. But he won’t ever get an Oscar. or an Emmy.

      Maybe teaching football at Banana Slug U or Berkely or Evergreen or Sarah Lawrence..

    1. Well in your mind wearing the armbands of fascists would be just fine. Uniform in private business is a little different than public ones. Then again, after reading your comments from past statements, would it be better if the Detroit Lions were just called the Ford Lions? And the San Francisco 49’s were Microsoft 49’s and we can all fly the flags of our own corporate owners.

      1. FishWings – for the first time ever I agree with you. Corporate sponsors could buy the naming rights for the teams just like they do for the stadiums. The agreement would be for 20 years (or 10), so every 20 years (or 10) a new bidding war would start to brand the team anew.

  6. Lost among the discussions about the players, team owner’s, and manager’s Constitutional rights is the question of diminishing venues for friends of different beliefs to just enjoy each other’s company.

    Having a good friend or relative your polar opposite in politics is becoming like a mixed race couple in the 1960’s. The pressure from without to split up is oppressive.

    We expect politics in opinion pieces. But now Leftward leaning political opinion has pervaded all aspects of the news, from anchors to daily reporting. Many newspapers ban their journalists from revealing the race of a non-Caucasian criminal suspect for fear of offending the Left. Academia, from preschool to graduate school, is now overwhelmingly a madrassa for the Left. Super Bowl commercials used to be just hilarious breaks in the game, but now there are commercials about sweet little mothers having a fun time crossing the desert without any water until they come to a big heartless wall. We can’t even watch a football game without players inserting their own personal politics into their workplace and our living rooms. Heck, I was reading a paranormal romance novel a few weeks ago, when all of a sudden, the phrases “wealth redistribution”, “paying your fair share”, and other dog whistles suddenly cropped up in a dystopia about dragons. You can’t get your girlfriends together to watch a Hollywood awards show and sigh about all the diamonds and couture, often on loan, for free, to extremely wealthy actresses, without those actresses scolding America on Liberal talking points. Instead of starting at home and actually paying their FX people, and giving them some semblance of job security and work life balance, they lecture us that we don’t do enough, while dripping in diamonds and ready to clutch a free swag bag worth tens of thousands of dollars that they don’t need.

    When are we allowed to get our mixed group of friends and family, of all political beliefs, together and just have fun? In the movies? Watching a football game? Watching an awards show? Politics has been inserted everywhere, when it’s not the venue. If I want to know a football player’s opinion on politics, I’ll choose to read an interview with him on the subject. But if a football player, or actress, or anyone else wants to insert their own personal politics into the workplace, specifically my television, then I’d rather change the channel than ruin the good mood of a get together.

    People can have great good fun together, regardless of politics. But these constant reminders that the Left is angelic and never wrong, and the Right is the AntiChrist tend to create uncomfortable moments and remind each other of their differences.

    I cannot force players to stop using their television platform to voice their own opinions while they are on the job. But they cannot force me to watch. And I want nothing to do with politicized sports. I don’t go to a horse show to talk politics. I don’t watch a jumping round so I can hear what the rider thinks of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. And God forbid, if politics ruins equestrian sports, I’ll stop participating and turn the channel on that, too.

    Consumers, stop complaining and start acting with your wallets and your remote controls. It doesn’t mean anything if you complain but still watch the games.

  7. If the Players Union was serious about helping inner city youth or at risk youth, they’d take 10% of their earnings and invest them in associations like Big Brother, youth sports, tutors, libraries, computers for schools, gang prevention– So many ways to make those millions make a difference.

    1. That is so true. Sharing a Facebook meme or taking a knee just virtue signals. Why don’t more people try to make a real difference instead of congratulating themselves on meaningless gestures?

      People who think the US is evil need to spend some time in other countries, like Uganda. Many years ago, I read an excellent article by a black journalist. I wish I could remember his name. He said that he grew up with black identity politics. He hated his “white” name, hated the US as the legacy of slavery, and blamed Caucasians with every problem he’d ever faced.

      Then he traveled to one of the African nations for a story. He said the rivers ran red with the blood of tribal warfare. Slavery still existed. Women were treated so unbelievably worse there. On point after point of how he judged society, it couldn’t compare in any way with the US. He suddenly realized he was indescribably lucky to be born and raised in the US. Living here was a blessing that people in that country couldn’t comprehend. They would never experience that level of safety and opportunity.

      His attitude and way of thinking, since birth, was wrong. It was a freeing and positive experience that gave new meaning to his experiences and life in America. Maybe kneeling football players should take a field trip of discovery, too.

      1. “He suddenly realized he was indescribably lucky to be born and raised in the US.”

        One of the reasons behind victimhood and making believe no one can feel their pain is because we are all so indescribably lucky to be born and raised in the US and that makes many of the complaints seem silly. Many people have suffered far worse harms than the complainers yet live happy lives withouot complaint.(That includes all races, colors,religions, genders, etc.)

        1. Anyone’s complaints seem silly contra a particular backdrop. The question at hand in evaluating a complaint is the sense of perspective incorporated within it, unless you’d like to go over the cliff and say anyone not being tortured to death a la St. Lawrence should quit whining.

          1. Our metric is the lives of ordinary Americans, DSS. That is what is under discussion and that is where the complaints are coming from. We don’t have to over-think the problem. We have to learn to live with relatively minor problems and overcome them instead acting as victims and waiting for someone else to act for them.

      2. His name is Keith Richburg and he was a reporter for the Washington Post.. Not sure he ‘hated’ his name or blamed whites for much. He did say that exposure to daily life in Africa and to public life in Africa aided him to appreciate life in America.

        1. Is he the one who wrote that the rivers ran red with blood? I remember the phrasing was very vivid. Thanks for suggesting the author. I’ll look into it to see if that’s the one, as I’d really like to give the appropriate citation.

      3. Review
        From 1991 to 1994, Keith Richburg was based in Nairobi as the Africa bureau chief for the Washington Post. He traveled throughout Africa, from Rwanda to Zaire, witnessing and reporting on wars, famines, mass murders, and the complexity and corruption of African politics. Unlike many black Americans who romanticize Africa, Richburg looks back on his time there and concludes that he is simply an American, not an African American. This is a powerful, hard-hitting book, filled with anguished soul-searching as Richburg makes his way toward that uncomfortable conclusion.
        Striking in both its honesty and horror…A gripping memoir. Out of America is a passionate reminder to a multiethnic democracy that human dignity, not banal notions of cultural identity, is the source of enduring civic and personal esteem. ( Wall Street Journal )

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