When Colin Kaepernick started his little temper tantrum/bid for attention/protest by sitting out the National Anthem that generated both praise and condemnation across the nation, it wasn’t HIS actions that the fans were looking to see in the aftermath. It was that of the San Francisco 49ers, and the National Football League office that were really of interest. See, little Colin could protest all he wanted, but the governing body of the sport AND the team could reprimand him. That was what the fans were waiting to see.
And that is exactly what we DID NOT see.
Not only did the fans not see any punishment or recourse from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the 49ers, but they heard praise for little Colin’s exercise of free speech. To say that did not sit well with the people on the fruited plain, veterans and not, was an understatement. Comment boards lit up across social media with angry followers of the sport wondering how it was that the NFL could justify a spoiled athlete essentially trampling on a song that is one of the great symbols of American determination to survive. (It’s really not about oppression, but defending in battle.)
Well, the fans have now spoken. In an environment where the good times roll thanks to advertising revenues, and endorsement deals, We the People have used the power of the remote control and the off switch. Check out the television ratings for the first week, and for Thursday’s game.
Far from being the assured stellar ratings that the first week of football usually brings given the seven month wait, being down double digits for the majority of games is going to hurt. Everyone: the networks, the teams, the players, the agents…the owners. Ratings drive the prices for ad spots. Lower ratings equals less revenue. Oops.
Essentially, the Billionaire Boys’ Club took a gamble that the people of the United States are so entrenched their product that they would overlook the obvious anti-American stance of a player who was about to be cut. Yeah, not so much. That decision is going to hurt the bottom line. Falling ratings means less revenue. This is what happens when the producers don’t know the psychographics of their target market. And the top brass of the NFL sure as heck don’t seem to.
Couldn’t happen to nicer people.
By the way, the NFL league office is no longer a non-profit. They are now a trade association.