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. We need to go to Catholic Churches on Sunday and shoot pedophile priests as they kneel and pray.

  2. 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?”

    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.”

      1. How much dumber can you get Fishwings. I take legitimate numbers I think obtained originally from the FBI and because you don’t like the numbers you respond with trash. You are an illiterate.

      2. You never did answer my question Fishy McFish Fish. Do tell. When Trump and Pence are impeached, what happens next?

        Your credibility is on the line FishWings so think carefully (I know it’s hard but try) before you respond.

        Tick tock. We are all waiting. All of us. Tick tock. Tick. tock.

  3. The issue would come to a complete stop if say 50% or 40% or 30% or 20% or even 10% of fans stop buying NFL sponsors product. How about everyone involved in law enforcement stopped buying NFL sponsors products.

  4. “Don’t Become a Right-Wing Snowflake–

    “Here’s a prediction. Right-wing snowflake culture will expand exponentially in the coming years, and its rise will be cynically and intentionally fueled by Donald Trump himself. Having proved himself a fake populist on most issues that actually matter, Trump has no choice but to move more enthusiastically into the culture war to deflect away from his obvious betrayal on economic populism and keep his diehard supporters in heat. In other words, he’ll do exactly what mainstream Democrats and Republicans have been doing for decades, which is distract the public and keep it fighting while oligarchs grab what little is left…”

    It was Obama who had the players stand in the first place as he wanted the NFL fans to connect this sport with patriotism which, in the US, means support for war, not justice.

    Clearly, this is a separate issue than ripping off customers and cities by the NFL. And again, they are both separate issues from “fans” lack of questioning why they are condoning a sport where players are needlessly harmed.

    There are a lot of wrong actions here and none of them speak well of our nation.

    1. Let us hear a cheer for the populist boys from Goldman Sachs. Their tax cuts are the most beautiful the richy riches have ever known.

    2. Between 2011-2015 the DoD and National Guard paid $12 million dollars to the NFL, ” to have ostentatious flag ceremonies before games.”

      In 2015, Senators McCain and Flake issued a joint senate oversight committee report on this issue:

      “Unfortunately, contrary to the public statements made by DOD and the NFL, the majority of the contracts—72 of the 122 contracts we analyzed—clearly show that DOD paid for patriotic tributes at professional football, baseball, basketball, hockey, and soccer games.v These paid tributes included on-field color guard, enlistment and reenlistment ceremonies, performances of the national anthem, full-field flag details, ceremonial first pitches and puck drops. The National Guard paid teams for the ‘opportunity’ to sponsor military appreciation nights and to recognize its birthday. It paid the Buffalo Bills to sponsor its Salute to the Service DOD even paid teams for the “opportunity” to perform surprise welcome home promotions for troops returning from deployments and to recognize wounded warriors.”

      Nothing like jingoistic propaganda to conflate sports with war.


      Senate Report (pdf):

  5. 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?

    1. And white cops are not shooting black people in record numbers either. Get your facts straight Fishy Wing Dings.

        1. Why don’t you educate yourself Fishwings and read the FBI statistics and the police statistics from various states. I just recently quoted you some of that material from City Journal. It was written by a well respected journalist, Healther McDonald, who I believe got her numbers from the FBI. Are you actually able to read? You acted crazy after reading the data.

          1. FishWings reminds me of this kid that I used to debate with on another site. I’d ask for his source and the clown would actually post a link as the source of unbiased information.

        2. How about you back your statement up with some facts/evidence that shows white cops are shooting blacks in record numbers? Just because the media blows a story up and chooses to focus on a narrative that serves their agenda doesn’t make it true. There are cases where cops get trigger happy and shoot both white and black men, but if there is anyone a cop does not want to shoot today, it is a black man. And if black men are dying in the streets it is because of black on black shootings, not white cops shooting them in record numbers. It happens, but not to the extent you want to believe.

          If you believe Eric Holder’s DOJ Civil Rights Division didn’t turn over every stone they could possibly find to indict that white cop in Ferguson, don’t you think they would have done it? They couldn’t. Hands Up Don’t Shoot was a lie promulgated by the media.

    2. “But that’s not the case is it?”

      How do you know?

      According to WaPo, there were 494 white people and 258 black people who were shot and killed by police officers in 2015.

      However, as far as I know the race of the police officers involved in the shootings is not known. Either in 2015 or over time. So we can’t make a comparison. If you have data, share it.

    3. FishWings, the available data from The FBI UCR show a five year average of 440 justifiable homicides committed by sworn officers from 2011 through 2015 as well as no significant variance from year to year. The race of the victims in those cases has never been published in The FBI UCR.

      However, beginning in January of 2018, The FBI UCR Use of Force data collection will be published for the first time. Until then, there is no conclusive method by which anyone might statistically analyze your claim nor the counter-claim.

      The media have paid greater attention to the issue of police use of force in recent years than the media did in the past; and that media attention certainly appears to be driving public perceptions on the question.

      We’ll just have to wait a few more months to see how well public perception comports with the statistics. But, even then, the question of historical trends in the use of force will have to wait for history to unfold.

  6. Many people couldn’t care less about sports, but respect peaceful protests, appreciate those who take a stand to recognize oppression and try to make the world a better place for all of its inhabitants.

    1. They’re not ‘recognizing oppression’. There is no oppression to recognize. They’re making a witless exhibition of themselves.

      1. StepOnToads – Colin is oppressed? The guy wanted a $14 million contract and turned down $10 million. I should be so oppressed. He is a crap QB who had two lousy seasons. He is lucky they made him an offer.

        1. “The guy wanted a $14 million contract and turned down $10 million.”

          Geeez Paul, I didn’t hear that. I would like any team out there to know I stand ready to be oppressed for $5 million a season–and that’s negotiable.

  7. Disrespecting our National Anthem and Flag
    Must be framed as Hate Speech.
    Shame on America if this display of hatred
    Is allowed to continue.

    1. There is nothing hateful about protesting being forced to say words and engage in physical behaviors that are meaningless to most people.

    2. I served in the US Navy for 25 years. I served to protect the people of our country from all enemies, foreign and domestic. I served to protect the constitutionally guaranteed rights of all citizens. One of those rights is freedom of speech. I served so that these players can kneel during the playing of the national anthem. If you don’t like it that these citizens are exercising their right to free speech I suggest you pack up and move to Russia.

      1. They’re employees of ball clubs making a stupid exhibit of themselves. The point of spectator sports is exhibition, and these displays are part of the exhibition. It’s sports, not politics. They’re not paid to give voice to their politics and players have been disciplined for much less contentious expression.

      2. Marco – knelling violates their contract with both their team and the NFL. Would you agree that employers have a right to control free speech in the workplace? Well, the NFL manual says they have to stand and face the flag or be fined.

        The fans can do what they want, but a lot are voting with their feet and their remotes. Personally, I do not watch NFL football, I watch college football. I doubt that there is a coach in college football that is going to let this happen.

      3. Or turn your back and decide not to let either the sport, team or players to profit from your protest.

      4. Roger Goodell has said that the NFL can’t allow stadiums or uniforms to be used to advance any political cause and it can’t be a league that picks and chooses which political causes they support or oppose – yet they did just that when they allowed Kaepernick to promote his support for Black Lives Matter by taking a knee on game day during the anthem. It was a deliberate choice by the league not to put a stop to it on Day 1 – all of which kind of blows any stance of ‘political neutrality’ by the NFL out the window doesn’t it?

      5. And since you served in the Navy, you might also have a deeper understanding and appreciation for the cops who serve as our Thin Blue Line between civilized society and anarchy on our streets. They are what keeps all hell from breaking loose. The problems can and will be addressed, and at the same time, cops and our military deserve our respect and gratitude. So the message to the NFL is to take your political protests and disrespect of the flag off the field and get back to your stance of political neutrality if you want to be around in 10 years.

      6. Marco, thank you for your service. The problems with your arguments are plentiful.

        Employees work and perform based upon the rules of the employer.
        The rules of the NFL clearly state dress and behaviour codes. No one is stopping protest, but one cannot use the employers resources for such protests.

        What would happen if in Disney World you saw Micky Mouse walking around with a MAGA hat? Would that be permitted? No. The MAGA hat is a form of free speech. Can Mickey Mouse walk around with an emblem of a flag sewed into his disguise? No. What would happen if Disney World permitted a BLM emblem on the suit? Many people might not show up and they might lose money. However, all of these things are permitted if the private employer decides that is what the employer wants. Those people that employer services can protest as well outside of his grounds and can even use the most potent weapon, ceasing to spend money on that employers goods or services.

        However, the NFL receives a lot of money from the public so it is a quasi public institution not clearly defined. If the employer permits breaking of the rules for one ideology and not the other is that not an ***inhibition of free speech*** which is what you potected “the people of our country” for”?

        You served so that those people could kneel and protest, but not to do so in violation of the rules or in a public institution where those rules are bent so that freedom of speech is denied one group while permitted to another.

          1. Probably watches too much MSNBC and CNN — just like the crazy man who got all riled up by watching Rachel Madcow and other propaganda crap who then went and shot up a bunch of Republicans, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise at a congressional baseball practice. That man had with him a piece of paper in his pocket with the names of other Republican members of Congress — you know, a hit list. And you criticize Fox News? It is entirely civil compared to the crap spewed nightly on MSNBC. I don’t have cable – maybe it’s time you cut the cord as well.

        1. FishWings, you’re right about Turley baiting his blawg hounds. But you’re wrong to tell Marco to give up debating the issue.

          The government cannot compel any of us to celebrate expressive speech and expressive conduct for any purpose, private or public. Standing for the national anthem and the raising of the flag is an all too obvious instance of a celebratory ceremony involving expressive speech and expressive conduct specifically for a public purpose.

          When we add to that Department of Defense spending to compel NFL players to celebrate the ceremonial raising of the flag during the singing of the anthem, we have the exact sort of First Amendment violation to which Marco so patriotically objects. Good for Marco. Shame on Turley and his blawg hounds.

          BTW, who else but Turley and his blawg hounds would have us suppose that TV cameras refusing to show fans counter-protesting the players’ protest constitutes censorship of the fans free speech rights? Does Turley truly expect the government to compel TV camera crews to focus their lenses on whatever the government tells them to focus their lenses on? That would clearly be content-based infringement of the freedom of the press, brothers and sisters.

          Now the blawg hounds will blather on and on about contracts to which neither they nor their government are parties, but which they want their government to enforce by ukase upon those who are parties to those contracts. Let the great cycle of teeth gnashing be renewed.

          1. “Department of Defense spending to compel NFL players to celebrate the ceremonial raising of the flag during the singing of the anthem”

            Diane, what proof do you have that what you say is true? In fact a recent article or citation I believe specifically said that was not true.

            Do you hate America so much?

  8. What is truly amazing is how the playpen part of America continues to capture the eyes of Turley and others on this blog. The NFL is not America. It does not speak to all Americans. It is a pastime that some don’t even know exist. Yet with the corruption in government and the health care industry, which affects us all and is rooted in the dysfunction of this oligarchy we call a democracy, there is little if any mention. All you lawyers and our fearless leader should buy your KY grease wholesale. The self gratification must be exhausting.

    There are far, far, far, far, more important things to address in this country than this idiocy. As far as the athlete and/or the sports industry losing over the question of this country’s sacred ideals as expressed in free speech versus honoring the anthem, who better to foot the bill than over paid athletes and mega millionaire owners. There is no substance there. For a moment, however, consider the industry that robs us blind on a daily basis and is somehow over looked, the health care insurance industry. If ever there was something that needed to be addressed it is this. If ever there was something not worth wasting this time on it is the great knee taking BS.

    1. You’re right. However Colin Kaepernick will be remembered and honored as someone who had a public platform and used that platform to remind the world that ancient traditions and propaganda are not infallible. They can be questioned. At first people will be angry, but eventually they will recognize the silliness of following old habits when new ideas are more useful.

      “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win”~Gandhi

      1. You’re right. However Colin Kaepernick will be remembered and honored as someone who had a public platform and used that platform to remind the world that ancient traditions and propaganda are not infallible.

        He’ll only be honored if the capacity for humbug in succeeding generations equals or exceeds that in our own age. The political point he’s tried to make is substantively stupid as well as being inappropriate in its setting.

      2. Kaepernick will indeed be remembered, but how sad is it to see that Kaepernick, a pro-athlete who was not playing well and was looking at being cut decided to take a knee in protest/publicity stunt was ‘honored’ with an exhibit in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History BEFORE the museum finally installed an exhibit honoring Justice Clarence Thomas, the longest-serving black Supreme Court justice in American history – just because he is a Republican. That’s just wrong.

    2. I see where you are coming from Issac, but I have to disagree here. This is a case where sociological and political ideals are coming to head, and it deserves some reflection. It does not represent all Americans, but it is a huge spectacle, with huge impact on society at large.

      Not saying there aren’t more important things, but the timeliness of all this is very interesting.

      1. slohrss 29

        I agree with you about the issues, but feel that this is the perfect venue for it to be surfaced. These ‘champions’ of the American ideal, dream, fantasy, whathaveyou, should pay the cost of this dispute, if there is indeed any cost at all. If our political system can be a three ring circus, good only for venting spleens, joking, and blaming; then why shouldn’t some of these clowns lose part of their mega millions incomes? In Rome the Emperor asked the people, thumbs up or down. Is this so different? It is just a game. It has been disgraced as a sport long ago with the graft, bribes, admitting IQs of 70 to college, drug use, and other disgusting attributes. It is more than fitting that some of these guys should have to downsize their jets, yachts, mansions, Bentleys, etc.

        1. No–I agree with you on the position of the NFL. Like so many businesses, they forget they are one, are super-duper fortunate to play a silly game and make these tremendous amounts of money. I think it’s the perfect time to reflect on this whole professional sports thing. I read Rod Laver’s biography years ago, and it was fascinating. In the late 60s, professional tennis was a traveling group of guys who had station wagons with the nets rolled up in the back. They had to set up their own venue before they could play! Professional sport has come a long way, maybe it needs to “go back” some.

    3. You miss the point, Issac. Free speech is essential to our Republic and the NFL situation is a metric that informs us of how much free speech is tolerated. There is nothing wrong with kneeling except if it is against NFL rules. Because the NFL is partially supported with public money it cannot permit one ideology to act against the rules without permitted the other side to do the same or free speech has been denied. Note: the NFL denied all sorts of worthy actions based upon their rules and regulations.

      1. CV, We may find it detestable for people to disregard the flag and America, but the acceptance of speech we hate is the price we pay for free speech.

        Yes, I find it morally wrong and heinous, but not wrong based upon the argument of free speech unless the organization involved is not entirely private.

    4. Isaac, don’t forget “the price of the ticket.” We all have the right to speak freely, but there just aren’t that many of us who have the kind of audience that Kaepernick, his colleagues and The NFL have.

      Presumably that audience is the reason the Department of Defense pays The NFL promotional fees for the ceremonial raising of the flag while singing the national anthem. And that is quite literally the price of the ticket, here.

      Why else would Trump, his supporters, Turley and his blawg hounds be so exercised over what you call the great knee-taking BS? Having paid the price of the ticket, they expect their money’s worth for it. And they aim to get it, even if a federal judge has to order TV camera crews to show fans counter-protesting the players’ protest.

      Not so silly anymore; is it, Isaac?

      1. ” Department of Defense pays … the ceremonial raising of the flag while singing the national anthem.”

        The DoD pays for promotion, but where do you get the idea they pay for the raiising of the flag while singing the national anthem?

  9. I have a suspicion that the bog standard attitudes of professional-managerial types are so at a variance with that of the rest of the population that they have no clue how offensive they are (and are sufficiently arrogant that they have no salutary response when they do get disagreeable feedback). What’s surprising is how pervasive this is nowadays. You expect it in academe and the legal profession and the entertainment business, not anywhere else. As for Roger Goodell, the entire adult life of this late-middle-aged man has been spent as an employee of the National Football League. He may no longer be able to conceive of a perspective outside its intramural culture.

    A biographer of Kenesaw Mountain Landis noted that the top spectator sports in the United States in 1920 were baseball and boxing and offered the thesis that their divergent paths in popularity and respect these two sports had might have been attributable to Landis’ methods, arrogant and arbitrary and unfair as they seemed in real time. The NCAA, the NBA, and the NFL might benefit from a nasty old man who will expel every skeevy character he can spot. (The NCAA is begging for brutal federal regulation, as are the boxing associations).

    1. It will be interesting, irreparable damage may already be done. There were some unaddressed chinks in the NFL armor before all of this, so we will see what happens. Could be the start of a brand “maelstrom,” we’ll have to see if the public will hold onto this incident, or will they be happy to put it behind them. It’s hard to get past the stacking of all this negativity. Saw a headline that said the Packers stood last night.

    2. SOT said, “The NCAA, the NBA, and the NFL might benefit from a nasty old man who will expel every skeevy character he can spot. (The NCAA is begging for brutal federal regulation, as are the boxing associations).”

      SOT wants the sum total of professional spectator sports in America to be run like Parchman Farm.

  10. Another factor in down attendance and tv viewing is the shame in watching players impose and receive brain-injuring hits. I stopped viewing for that reason. Plus, football games contain a TOTAL action time of about 15 minutes. Baseball has a similar problem. Real football, aka soccer, is all play.

  11. NFL may be kneeling, locking arms & praying for another reason.

    Current NFL players project that between 10 and 40 percent of the league is using human growth hormone, or HGH, a banned substance that increases strength, decreases body fat and facilitates quicker healing from injury.

    “Steroids aren’t the problem. HGH is the big problem. For the past four or five years, the league has been almost overrun by HGH,” a veteran player said. “The new testing procedures aren’t catching anyone, because players know there is almost no way to get caught.”

    1. As the sport of cycling has shown, they can be caught. The question is, does anyone really want them to be caught. Awful lot of dime hanging on these performances. While I am no spring chicken anymore, I did crash my mountain bike at a fairly high rate of speed onto rocks. Shrugging that off has taken more than “just a few days.” When you see these players in these situations and taking titanic hits from these heavyweight human missiles and brushing it off like a “Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote scenario” and performing top dog week-in and week-out, there’s more to it.

      Similarly. In the 2005 tour de france, Lance Armstrong got caught out in a stage, had no food or water for a long period of near max heart rate activity, super high heat for the area, finished, had to have IV’s… the next day in the time trial, he passes the number 2 guy on the road who was one minute ahead of him, and who was pretty much an even rival. That told me PEDs were not done in the sport. Much better now. After those guys turn themselves inside out in the tour de france, they actually have bad days now and have to deal with it.

      1. Then you have golfer Tiger Woods. Cheated on wife, PGA, sponsors & fans.

        Yeah, Tiger hooked up with Canadian doctor Anthony Galea. HGH performance enhancing drugs. Never got caught. Tiger banked around $800 million. But his body is now broken down for a reason.

  12. There is a possibility, and I stress this is unconfirmed and could be coincidence, that a major sponsor of the NFL–Papa John’s Pizza–just dropped them.

    I enquired as to who were the NFL’s sponsors and I came across Papa John’s. I looked onto and did not see any NFL logos or promotions. But, I went to a web archiving site to see snapshots of prior versions of the pizza company’s website and saw that there were in fact, until just recently, promotional items listing the NFL. (The most recent archive as of now was Sept 21.) Formerly, as shown on the archive site, Papa John’s prominently mentioned it was an Official Sponsor and had done so on each of the queries I ran going back as far as late July.*/

    It would otherwise be very unusual for a major sponsor to suddenly pull the logos and the promotions during the early part of the NFL season. I believe it is probable something adverse to their relationship happened.

  13. The NFL may may have a long regret as fans move away and on to another sport or away from sports all together. I agree, the NFL is deaf to fans and takes them for granted. No more tax-funded stadiums, either. Choking the goose that has been laying golden eggs!

  14. Several sites are reporting that there is a manual that requires football players to stand during the National Anthem and they will be fined if they do not. I do not see these fines coming forth. If such a manual exists then Goodell is playing fast and loose with the rules.

    The real payoff will be season ticket renewals next year. Right now, NFL tickets are at a 10% discount. Stadiums are more than half empty. Nobody is watching them on TV. They just lost one sponsor and are about to lose another.

    1. Any rule that prevents a player from exercising his first amendment rights is unconstitutional.

  15. Sorry, I’m a little skeptical of a “Reuters Poll”. What question was asked? What was the sample size? what did they do to make sure the sample was representative of the universe?

    There’s no reason to believe the Leftist Anti-Trumpers at “Reuters” were trying to do an objective poll or were willing to pay for an expensive poll that would be accurate.

    Of course there’s a sucker born every minute. So “Believe” away if you wish.

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