Nearly empty stadiums; dramatically declining TV viewership; disgusted former fans; arrogant, entitled millionaire players pretending to be oppressed and endangered; the NFL has been in a self-imposed death spiral for some time, and it just paid in full for its cemetery plot. But first, at The Weekly Standard, Jonathan Last has an article titled: The NFL Is Dying; Here’s Why. Here’s just a portion of Last’s article:
This collapse of the NFL we’re witnessing is not new. It’s been happening for a long time just below the waterline. A buddy of mine, Steve Czaban, used to keep a running count on the waiting list for Redskins season tickets. When I first moved to Washington it was something like 35 years. Then it was 20 years. Then 15 years. Then 10 years.
Today the wait list for Redskins season tickets is 17 seconds. Not a typo. (And the team is even offering $100 gift cards to people who buy a season ticket package.)
So what’s happened over the last 20 years? Lots of things, including high-definition television and the internet. But the most foundational shift as far as the NFL is concerned is the available supply of games for TV viewing.
Last’s article outlines a variety of other structural issues, while barely touching on the player’s alienation of their fan base, and the owner’s and NFL Commissioner’s fecklessness and cowardice. Those failings are bad enough, however, ESPN, which is in a death spiral of its own–it just laid off another 150 employees–reports on the NFL’s most recent game of Russian Roulette:
The NFL and a group of players reached an agreement in principle late Wednesday night to partner on a plan to address social justice issues considered important to African-American communities, sources told ESPN.
The unprecedented agreement calls for the league to contribute $89 million over seven years to projects dealing with criminal justice reform, law enforcement/community relations and education.
Keep in mind, gentle readers, 75% of NFL players are black. Apparently, they are now fully “woke” and rather than spending their own money–well, very much of it anyway–on their favorite political causes, they’ve talked the NFL into doing it for them.
During a conference call Wednesday night, Malcolm Jenkins and Anquan Boldin, who lead roughly 40 players who have negotiated with the league office about demonstrations during the national anthem, guided the group through the highlights of the package, which represents the NFL’s largest contribution to a social issue, surpassing that of Salute to Service or Breast Cancer Awareness/Crucial Catch.
The partnership came a day after some players broke away from the Players Coalition because of their dissatisfaction with how Jenkins and Boldin have handled negotiations. Commissioner Roger Goodell, believing that an agreement was at hand, was furious when ESPN reported that players were breaking off, according to one source. But during an afternoon call, Jenkins asked that the commissioner and the owners continue to stand with the players and allow them to do important work in the community.
“Important work in the community.” Was there something in their contracts that prevented them from spending their own money, from using their own time to do such vital work, from giving to worthy charities? No. But surely the NFL must have obtained concessions from the players for this one-sided deal? Surely they must have demanded players stop dishonoring our nation’s revered symbols and alienating fans? No, and don’t call me Shirley:
The agreement does not include language calling for players to end protests during the national anthem in exchange for funds; there’s no implicit quid pro quo. But the NFL hopes this effort will effectively end the peaceful yet controversial movement that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started in 2016, when he refused to stand for the anthem.
Ah yes, Saint Kaepernick The Radioactive, GQ’s Citizen Of The Year, joining a pantheon of other giants of our culture.
Under the league’s proposal, the $89 million has been earmarked over a seven-year period for both national and local projects. On the national level, owners this year will allocate $5 million, with their commitment growing annually and maxing out at $12 million per year from 2021 through 2023.
At the local level, owners would put up $250,000 annually and expect players to match that amount, totaling $500,000 for each team. Players and owners can exceed that amount if they choose, with no matching requirement. In addition, there would be other fundraising opportunities, including telethons and auctions of jerseys worn in games.
It appears the players will be tossing a token amount–considering their salaries and benefits–into the social justice pot. They have to keep their rides and mansions properly “pimped” after all (Note: please don’t bother accusing me of racism. All race cards have been invalidated at this Internet ATM years ago. Making fun of bad grammar and idiotic uses of the language? Guilty as charged.) ESP also provides insight into why they’re spiraling down with the NFL:
Players came to the table in a rare position of power for them, because many fans have cited protests as the main reason they’ve tuned out the NFL over the past two seasons. Concerned about ongoing fan backlash and the angst of the league’s corporate partners, Goodell pushed hard to establish the framework of a deal before next week’s league meeting in Dallas.
So the NFL and ESPN believe the problem isn’t the players and their knowing and arrogant disrespect of our nation’s most unifying and representative symbols. It’s not their spitting in the faces of their fans, normal Americans who turn to sports to get away from the hurricane of politicization of every aspect of life. No, the problem for fans, the problem for the NFL, is the NFL isn’t subsidizing the most radical leftists in the nation, represented ably by the social justice movement. The very actions, the smug, ignorant arrogance and entitlement that are destroying the NFL has put the players, junior high level adolescents in hulking, steroid-infused adult bodies, “in a rare position of power”? That’s rather like the “position[s] of power” Al Franken, Bill Clinton, Matt Lauer, Harvey Wienstenn, Anthony Weiner (the name that is irony itself) and John Conyers currently occupy, isn’t it?
Getting the ball across the goal line would put the NFL way ahead of the NBA, NHL and MLB in providing resources to address social justice issues.
Don’t you just love sports metaphors? After all, nothing is more important than addressing “social justice issues” by “getting the ball across the goal line.”
Let’s review, gentle readers. Just what is “social justice?” It is the antithesis of the rule of law. Above all, it is progressive ideology acted out in the streets, the legislatures, Hollywood and the media. And it is not just slightly left of center ideology. It is fully blown socialism and communism, with the occasional garlanding of anarchy thrown in for good measure when social justice explodes into riot, arson, assault and murder, including the assassinations from ambush of police officers.
Social Justice is blaming the police for the death of Trayvon Martin, a drugged, wanna-be gangsta-thug and burglar who picked the wrong man to try to kill in an unprovoked attack, who forced that man to kill him in lawful self-defense. It’s Michael Brown, the drugged strong-arm robber who beat a police officer, tried to take his handgun, and died in a berserker charge on that officer, having never raised his hands–“hands up; don’t shoot”–in surrender. It’s torching Baltimore to protest the accidental death of drugged petty criminal and drug dealer Freddie Gray. It’s the torching of Ferguson, riots in Portland, every act of political, anarchical violence and stupid rage, uninformed by reason, or even a coherent policy goal.
Social justice is the opposite of American constitutionalism, the principal that has held America together since the founding. It exalts tribalism, baseless racial grievance, and identity politics. It divides and agitates. It scorns due process, equal justice, and the rule of law, because social justice means only the judicial and political outcomes favored by progressive/socialist/communist/anarchist social justice warriors, regardless of the circumstances or evidence. While those outcomes change from time to time and place to place, one thing does not change: none of them are in accordance with the Constitution. The Constitution is the primary impediment to the realization of a social justice utopia.
This is the path chosen by the NFL. These are the people, the principles, and vision of the future, of America, the players and owners of the NFL have chosen to embrace. They could have chosen to engage in their “important work in the community” on their own time and with their own resources, but they backed themselves into a corner. They chose to take sides in the political battle for the survival of America, and they chose the wrong side.
Their protestations that their disdain for America has nothing to do with our military, the national anthem, or the flag rings as hollow as their empty assertions of superior virtue. Their kneeling and black power salute protests occur nowhere else, and at no other time, than on game days, while our flag is honored and the national anthem performed.
The NFL has made its choice, but times are changing. Just as cassette tapes, VHS tapes, and a variety of other cultural icons have vanished, the NFL will never recapture the place it once held in America’s entertainment preferences. The NFL has now ensured its decline, and near-extinction, will occur much more rapidly. Why should football fans willingly participate in the destruction of the nation that, unlike any other nation in history, has made it possible for ignorant, ungrateful and arrogant overgrown adolescents to become multimillionaires, only to insult and scorn the very people and constitutional values that made their undeserved success possible?
They chose poorly.