Player Protests Cause Football Fans to Flee

For the third consecutive year, the NFL’s first week ratings were lower than the previous season opener. The Washington Redskins, which boasts 50 straight years of sellout crowds, is risking that streak being broken for this weekend’s first home game despite having removed almost 10,000 seats over the past few seasons and discounting tickets on Groupon. Beer and food prices are falling at stadiums across the league as a potential way to lure fans back.

Of course, well-paid players ending their insistence on being able to protest racism/police violence/Colin Kaepernick’s not making the cut/America in general by kneeling or not showing up at all during the presentation of the colors and the national anthem could probably help boost ratings and ticket sales.  But the NFL capitulated to the players, and is now apparently paying the price.

In a new Daily Caller commentary, Project 21 member Christopher Arps writes that he is once again “ambivalent” about football season. “With ratings down for opening weekend,” Christopher noted, “I suspect many NFL fans are just like me.”

Christopher added:

In my view, fans believe it is disrespectful to kneel during the national anthem. We don’t want to see or hear someone’s political speech or opinions. We want to escape for a few hours to watch great athletes entertain us. Especially when we’ve paid a lot of money to watch.

I don’t know many jobs in America where you can protest societal grievances on your employer’s premises and time. I also don’t know many jobs where your employer has to allow you to negatively affect their financial bottom line.

Kaepernick and any NFL player has a right to express their First Amendment rights on their own time with their own resources. That’s the rub for so many of us content to miss the games.

His love for the game, Christopher explained, is compromised by the leftist hijacking of sport to become a tool of their protests. And protesting things like the claim that police violence is on the rise and targeting black Americans is pushing a false narrative undoubtedly causing once-loyal fans to equate players to Chicken Little and the boy who cried wolf:

[L]eftists have turned protest, once a tool of the truly powerless to get the attention of the powerful, into the first resort for anything they are unhappy about or don’t agree with.

Don’t like the outcome of an election? Protest! Don’t like the outcome of a jury verdict? Protest! Don’t like the fact you lost your job as a starting quarterback because you sucked? Protest!

Christopher didn’t watch any of the games last weekend. He may follow his beloved Dallas Cowboys. He may also take an interest in the post-season. But he won’t be watching like he did in the past. That means he won’t be watching the commercials or taking part in game-day traditions of snacking and such. On a large scale, this is going to affect NFL revenues and impact the crusading players. Maybe that will allow them to truly understand how important it is to fans that they respect the American flag.

To read Christopher’s Daily Caller commentary in its entirety, click here.

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