It looks like the NFL is starting to get the message, after a viewership decline and fan anger has spilled over thanks to the ongoing national anthem protests by its players.
While not as many clowns are disrespecting the flag, there are still too many wannabe activists undermining any enjoyment one might find in the sport. But thanks to the fan outrage expressed over the incident, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is making moves to quell fan unrest and put an end to the foolish protests.
As reported at the Kansas City Star, on Tuesday, Goodell sent a letter to all 32 owners concerning the ongoing anthem protests. The letter, which the commissioner shared on his Facebook page, said that the “current dispute over the National Anthem is threatening to erode the unifying power of our game, and is now dividing us, and our players, from many fans across the country.”
Goodell is a highly unpopular commissioner amongst both the players and fans, but with this letter, it seems that he’s decided to do the right thing and side with the folks shelling out the cash that pays for his exorbitant salary. The players, however, are sure to see this as yet another slight against them by the controversial commissioner.
While the NFL rulebook doesn’t even mention the national anthem, the league’s game operation manual says that players “should” stand for the anthem.
“Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem,” Goodell wrote. “It is an important moment in our game. We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us. We also care deeply about our players and respect their opinions and concerns about critical social issues. The controversy over the Anthem is a barrier to having honest conversations and making real progress on the underlying issues. We need to move past this controversy, and we want to do that together with our players.”
We won’t know what kind of impact Goodell’s letter will have until Sunday, when we’re once again treated to the embarrassing spectacle that is the pregame. There’s a decent chance that more players will take a knee due to the severe hatred many feel towards Goodell, but it’s anybody’s guess at this juncture.
But it is good news to see the NFL’s top dog officially come out and take a stance on the issue. At this point, he has to, unless he wants fans to continue taking their eyes and money elsewhere.
Source: Kansas City Star