As for whether President Trump should have swatted the NFL hornet’s next, particularly with the blunt language he used, then doubled down on Twitter: personally, I may wish he would stick to more important issues, but he’s made it clear that he speaks his mind, and it’s like the NFL: if you hit him, he’ll hit you back.
If the team owners could just cool their jets for a minute, they might realize that it takes both sides to escalate a fight, and the left is playing them for suckers. It’s the goal of the “progressive” movement to politicize everything (they even have a slogan: “No escapism!”) They are consumed with dividing Americans into warring camps as a way to tear down all American institutions, and they want to make sure there is no place to escape having radical politics shoved into their faces. Recently, they’ve scored a string of successes. They’ve managed to infest with leftist political messages all of the following: network and cable news programs, movies, live theater, late night comedy shows, college classes and lectures, ESPN, newspapers, news weeklies, entertainment and fashion magazines, virtually every televised awards show and more.
And what else do all these newly “woke” organizations have in common? They are all in a popularity death spiral. The anti-Trump Emmy Awards just set a new record for low viewership. Network newscasts and newspapers are dying, colleges that tolerate violent protests are shuttering dorms for lack of students, Newsweek recently sold for the princely sum of one buck while Jann Wenner is desperately trying to unload Rolling Stone, movie box office is cratering, and Stephen Colbert’s crown as “king of late night” is based on an audience a fraction of the size of an off night for Johnny Carson. Why in the world would pro sports leagues want to hop onto the treadmill to oblivion with them?
Ratings and ticket sales for the NFL were already on the decline. The best way to accelerate that trend is by siding with the shrill leftist-politics-in-your-face-24/7 mob. The teams may think they’re sticking it to Trump, but Trump was just expressing the long-simmering frustrations of the 60-million-plus Americans who voted for him, who represent a disproportionate percentage of NFL fans.
If the players could just set aside their animosity toward Trump, they might realize that this is coming across to many fans not as a protest of injustice but as nose-thumbing at their own fans who believe that sports should be a no-politics zone, and that the flag and the National Anthem are symbols of something larger than politics. We take that brief moment of silent, standing respect to come together and express our gratitude that we live in a nation where we have the freedom to disagree, argue, protest and speak out without fear of reprisal from the government – after the game is over. When you violate that shared covenant, you are showing contempt for the very system that guarantees the rights you claim to be exercising.
Both the players and owners should remember that fans have freedoms, too. Many used their freedom of speech on Sunday to boo players who kneeled during the National Anthem. Those at home may exercise their freedom to switch channels or even to turn off the TV entirely to go outside and toss around a football with their families. As the story at the link notes, a Yahoo Sports poll found that only 30% of Americans support the player protests. How many of those are even football fans? Do you think those who are fans will never get sick of having leftwing politics shoved down their throats and the country they love insulted and just tune out, especially now that the disrespect for America is on steroids? Then check out the summer movie box office figures.
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