Donald Trump, the person the media tells you at every turn is the dumbest guy in whatever room he is in, in just one weekend outflanked the left, the Democratic Party, the media, and the elites. Not only did Trump outmaneuver his political enemies, all the self-proclaimed enlightened people still haven’t caught on that he has taken them to school as they are too busy digging a deeper hole.
At issue, of course, are the President’s remarks over millionaire athletes taken a knee during the National Anthem before NFL games, a subject I have been writing about at The American Spectator since this phenomenon began. To make a long story short, some professional athletes, much to the ire of most Americans, have taken a knee during the National Anthem while siding with radical groups such as Black Lives Matter, and saying awful things about the police in the process. Most team owners and league and media outlets have applauded these radical players’ assessment of America, while most Americans seethe at what is going on.
By nationalizing this issue, the President has come off as the guy who is standing up for the flag, America, decency and common sense. The President’s critics who are so quick to jump on him no matter what he says, looked before they leapt on this one and consequently come off as people who hate America. Former member of Congress, Donna Edwards, seemed to sum up the left’s sentiment after Trump’s weekend remarks, recommending that all players now take a knee. Come election day, being the party that is against the anthem, the flag, and for millionaire athletes is not a good place to be. And for Donald Trump, every time a player takes a knee the president comes out as the hero for defending American values. Politically, this is the gift that keeps giving.
As the President ascends, the NFL continues its suicide march. With declining ratings and empty stadiums, this is the last fight the NFL needed. In this it also reveals where the NFL made a classic miscalculation, probably due to personal political leanings of the top brass. The NFL believes the next generation of sports fans is upon us, and they are young, racially diverse, and political activism appeals to them.
As a sports executive let me reveal a dirty industry secret. Study after study shows that younger Americans aren’t into sports like previous generations. The younger audience that the NFL is trying to appeal to just aren’t there to sustain at the levels they need to survive.
If you had to do a composite of your typical current NFL fan, it would be a middle-aged white guy with a decent disposable income. Ask yourself, how does that demographic line up politically? Although not a solid voting bloc, your typical middle-aged white guy loves his country, thinks the police need to be supported not attacked, and more often than not aligns politically with the right. The activism that the NFL engages in is a slap in the face to the league’s composite customer. What kind of marketing genius would alienate their customer base when there isn’t a realistic plan B to replace it?
But alas, the NFL could care less about its fan base, and for that matter other NFL players and employees who are mortified by what is going on. It is also clear it doesn’t have any respect for my view points or opinion either. So much for my years of loyalty.
I can’t tell you how many hours of my life I have spent watching and enjoying NFL football. Probably such an embarrassing amount that if you stacked all those hours spent watching the NFL it would add up to years of my life. But as every Sunday comes I find myself tuning in less. I can no longer relate to players who hate the police, America, and probably loathe everything I stand for.
It’s OK though, as I found I don’t miss it. There is always baseball, college football, and plenty of things to do on a Sunday afternoon. The NFL is like an old friend you don’t think of much anymore, because in retrospect you realize it was just a one-sided friendship on your part, which is to say not much of a friendship at all.