They say that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, but the NFL is setting out to prove that assumption wrong on a daily basis.
You would think that needing to discuss something that the NFL did in the middle of their offseason, and in the midst of a Game 7 in the NHL, two NBA Conference Finals that are knotted at two games apiece, and with baseball in the heart of their season, would be great publicity and prove that the NFL is still king.
But in actuality, the league is proving that they are the most out of date and clueless organization in sports, with a commissioner who loves to pick the wrong battles and owners that are only concerned with how much money they can fit in their deep pockets.
The league announced today that they developed a new rule concerning how its players and teams should act during the National Anthem. All players and staff are required to stand for the Anthem, and teams will face fines if anyone is either kneeling or sitting. Players who would like to protest the Anthem are required to stay off the field until the Anthem has ended. Teams will be able to punish players who break that new rule however they choose fit, so basically the league pushed all the responsibility to reprimand the protesters onto the teams.
Why did they even need to bring this back up again? Has anyone really talked about the National Anthem for the past few months?
What good does making a rule like this do for the league as a whole? Fans aren’t just going to show up to games now that they can be assured that players are going to stand and not kneel for a two-minute Anthem.
I’m sorry, that was never the reason that attendance and ratings were down last year. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out the reasons why people have tuned out of games. The games are too long, the league in general is watered down, the talent level has gone down drastically while prices for everything has risen, and the best parts of the game – fantasy football and RedZone – can be done at home for little to no charge. I like watching football, but I’m not spending a few hundred dollars to sit outside for five hours in the middle of the winter to watch a game when I can do the same thing in my heated apartment. If Aaron Rodgers throws for 400 yards and four TDs and the Packers win, I could really care less if he stood, sat, or kneeled during the Anthem.
The NFL has also tried their hardest to ruin the game of football, which is more to blame for decreasing interest than any protests. Protests didn’t make the game painful to watch, and neither did wearing a different color sock or a certain pair of cleats. The game is getting progressively worse because no one knows what the hell a catch is, you can’t put a hand or a finger on a QB without a penalty being called, and flags in general are so arbitrary that it appears that every game is rigged.
People didn’t stop showing up and didn’t stop spending money on teams because of protests. They stopped showing up to certain games because their teams sucked. And because the game has gone through so many changes that it’s almost non-recognizable to the fans that have been loyal for many years.
Making a rule that is trying to prevent kneeling or sitting is just going to make the whole issue much worse. The league did try to hide it in the middle of the playoffs of the NBA and NHL, but they should have known that it would be a big story regardless. And I seriously have no clue what they are trying to accomplish other than making their rich owners happy.
If the NFL wanted to get rid of anthem protests, they could have done one of two things: either totally ignore it and not bring any more attention to it, or just come out and say that they have no issue with the protests.
But no let’s fine the teams and not the actual players while allowing them to stay in the locker room (which calls them out just as much as the process of kneeling/sitting on the field would), so that way we’re not the bad guy when a player gets fined/suspended for taking a knee.
I’m sure that’s going to make things so much better.
As a non-Patriots fan, I don’t have the vile hate for Roger Goodell as they do, but god he’s such an idiot. And this league is going to shit, one moronic rule at a time. But hey, at least we know the players will all be standing, even if the stands are empty and no one is watching.
Adam Belue (@albinomamba44)