Published On: Sun, Oct 29th, 2017

NFL protests: Markets are taking care of it

Good evening, Gramps here,

I could really care less about sports, or sporn as some of us like to call it; however, the protests by NFL football players provides strong evidence how the market will adjust and weed out or punish unpopular behavior and I find it quite interesting.

Image/QuinceMedia via pixabay

It started last year with then San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick who started refusing to stand during the National Anthem I believe in a protest of police brutality. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country [United States] that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said last season. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

Kaepernick became a household name because of this and certainly not due to his prowess on the football field.

The University of Nevada graduate also liked to don T-shirts of mass murderers like Fidel Castro and the bloodthirsty Marxist revolutionary, Che Guevara. Makes you wonder what the University of Nevada’s history department is teaching it’s students about these and other brutal men that an alum would wear a T-shirt with their faces adorned.

In addition, why would think wearing a Castro or a Che shirt at an NFL game would go over well with this crowd. It’s not the same sympathetic audience you’d find at a college campus, a Santana concert or at a Hollywood party. (I’ll have to discuss Che in a later notebook someday)

I always wondered why he chose to protest a local issue like police brutality on a national stage during the national anthem? The dots don’t really connect with me. Why didn’t he go to the cities where he believed “There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder” to protest, but I digress.

At that point, I saw Kaepernick’s market value in the NFL plummet. What professional organization is going to want to deal with the bad press and fan grumblings and ultimately loss of revenue over something like Kaepernick. It would be a poor business decision.

Bring us forward to this season and Kaepernick is unemployed but the number of players not standing and showing respect to the National Anthem/flag has grown, partly due to an unnecessary infusion of remarks by President Trump. I’m not saying anyone is right or wrong, I just don’t think Trump needed to get in the middle of that (but that’s another story) since without question the market would take care of it.

Of course, unbeknownst to the majority of the country, the reasons for protests have grown. Former NFL player,  Donté Stallworth said it’s not just about police brutality but about other issues.

“It’s not just police brutality and community policing. It’s also, again from what I’m hearing from players directly involved in these talks, they’re telling me it’s also about the gender pay gap, it’s also about housing discrimination, they have so many things that they are interested in and advocating for and they want the NFL to take ownership in and help be able to use the NFL’s platform,” Stallworth added.

Huh? Was anyone really aware of this? Do the players truly understand these issues?

Again, if I owned a professional football team,the questions would be–is this the forum for protest? How does it effect the business? It is about dollars and cents, remember, these players are truly biting the hand that feeds them.

Where else can you make that obscene amount of money entertaining the masses playing a kid’s game?

Let’s take a look at what has happened so far:

Overall, viewership is down seven percent over 2016, which is bad enough for the league. However, this year’s slippage is not the first. Indeed, 2016 — the year of the first national anthem protests — saw a nine percent decline over 2015.

Big surprise?!

I suspect that’s just the beginning. Let’s look again in a year or two, if this continues, and see how many people to renew their season tickets. Let’s see how bad merchandising gets hit. It will be interesting to look at these numbers when available.

Credit Suisse says declining NFL television ratings will lower CBS earnings. Analyst Omar Sheikh said CBS’ Sunday NFL ratings are down 17 percent year over year during the first several weeks of the football season.

Like I told friends and family when this all started, the markets will make the adjustments that many are not going to like. No President or any other figure could do this–only the market.

Read more of Grandpa Ernie’s Notebook

                      Grandpa Ernie’s Notebook



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About the Author

- Grandpa Ernie likes to write commentary in between naps.

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