Dear NFL: Please Stand for the Anthem. Love, America
By Jake Gould
At a rally in Alabama, President Trump viciously condemned Colin Kaepernick for kneeling during the National Anthem, which cost him his job. This led to a series of tweets by Trump criticising the NFL for their policies about kneeling. In protest against Trump, dozens of NFL players decided to kneel or link arms during their games last week. While many have praised the football players from almost every NFL team that have kneeled or sat during the National Anthem, the majority of Americans do not approve of their actions, and are protesting themselves against the NFL; football’s ratings are down 15%, and may lose up to 200 million in advertising revenue.
Yet supporters of the pro-Kaepernick protests insist that what they are doing is loved by the American people and will benefit future generations. Some Twitter users have even made analogies to Martin Luther King, Jr’s civil rights movement by saying that in 40 years, we will we walking down Kaepernick Avenue. But do the American people as a whole truly stand (or kneel) with Kaepernick? Let’s look at the facts.
Reuters/Ipsos polled Americans asking them if they personally stood in silence when “The Star Spangled Banner” is played. The answer? A whopping 85%. And how many Americans think that professional athletes should be required to stand during the anthem? An impressive 58%. A Remington poll concluded that 64% of Americans believe that NFL players should stand. And if you think this support is conservative only, you’d be wrong; 91% of Republicans, 60% of Independents, and 43% of Democrats think that players should stand.
So, why do you think that 51% Americans are watching less football this year? 69% of them say it’s because of players using the NFL to express their political views.
Please keep politics out of football, NFL. It makes the football less appealing to Americans, and it hurts you too.