The NFL is experiencing a massive backlash, the kind of which has never been seen before, ever since this past Sunday’s league wide “taking a knee” protest during the National Anthem.
Colin Kaepernick, a failed quarterback formerly of the San Francisco 49ers, started this trend last year as a means of standing up for “equality,” or some other racially motivated cause, however, this weekend’s protest was mostly to strike back at President Trump.
The president had spoken out about how disrespectful not standing for the anthem was and how it was insulting to veterans who have sacrificed so much to ensure we stay a free people. Things got a little tense on Twitter with Trump calling these players a bad name.
Players, even whole teams took a knee or didn’t bother taking the field until after the anthem was played to “stick it to the man.” However, there have been some serious consequences for their actions.
Some players are losing sponsorships, ratings for televised games are way down, and now, DirectTV is offering customers who bought the NFL Sunday Ticket package a refund.
NFL Sunday Ticket is a programming package offered by DirecTV what allows viewers to watch any and all televised NFL regular season games in real time. The average price for the package is around $280 for the season.
According to the Wall Street Journal, several customer service representatives from DirecTV revealed that the company is willing to provide refunds to some customers who “cite players’ national anthem protests as the reason” for wanting to cancel.
The WSJ reported that DirecTV doesn’t generally honor cancellation requests once the regular season is in full swing.
Marc Hoffman, a customer who spoke to the WSJ, said that he contacted DirecTV to request a cancellation of his NFL Sunday Ticket package and received a refund as a result.
Hoffman, a former business editor at The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, said, “I honestly didn’t think I’d get a refund. I know their guidelines; I just wanted to make a point.”
Now, clearly, the American people, the ones who view these games, who support their teams both in spirit and financially, want nothing to do with this kneeling fiasco. They’ve stopped tuning in, buying merchandise, and purchasing game day tickets.
What else do football fans have to do in order to get through to the people calling the shots at the NFL? Is hurting the bottom line not doing the trick? Is looking like a social justice warrior in the eyes of the culture really so important it’s worth ignoring your base? That’s astounding.
If the league and it’s players value the fans who make it possible for them to have the careers they have, perhaps they ought to spend more time actually listening to their complaints on this topic and then doing something about it?
After all, these players are technically violating NFL policy anyway, so why not just apply the rules that already exist?