NFL’s Decision on Anthem Protests a Pyrrhic Victory for Patriots

NFL’s Decision on Anthem Protests a Pyrrhic Victory for Patriots

Finally caving to pressure from fans, and most likely panicked advertisers, the National Football League will require players on the field “to stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.”

After two years of inaction on the controversial kneeling protests, the NFL has apparently come to the realization that its brand has suffered from allowing players like Colin Kaepernick to politicize the national anthem. Not surprisingly, the average fan has understood the protests aimed to promote a false narrative that America is a racist country, and simply started tuning out. Last season, viewership dropped 1o percent and, earlier this year, 8 million fewer fans watched Super Bowl LII.

Obviously, the NFL’s failure to show leadership on the issues has resulted in financial consequences. Last fall, we reported on how advertisers were letting television executives know they would no longer be a part of the games if broadcasters continued covering the protests. Sponsors like Papa John’s, DirecTV and Anheuser-Busch signaled the protests were damaging their brands as well. It stands to reason that a 10 percent drop in viewership would devalue advertising agreements and sponsors would be concerned with diminished returns on investments.

Of course, the fans themselves deserve the ultimate credit for using their dollars and their viewing habits to force the NFL’s hand.

However, the victory here rings hollow as the NFL will be moving forward with the agreement to fund so-called “social justice causes” at the behest of the players. In an apparent “settlement” with protesting players last fall, the league agreed contribute $90 million to leftist organizations like Van Jones’s Dream Corps and the newly formed Players Coalition. According to reports, the Players Coalition applied for 501(c)4 tax exempt status, which allows the organization to participate in political activities.

This is especially concerning as 2ndVote has found the NFL Players Association has a history of funding activist organizations tied to liberal billionaire George Soros. In other words, a significant portion of the $90 million, which ultimately comes from dollars spent by fans on tickets and merchandise, appears to be heading directly to similar groups to fund the left’s agenda.

While the NFL hopes the decision to end the anthem protests will start to repair its public image, conservatives are unlikely to return as fans as long as the league continues to funnel their dollars to left-wing activists.

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