When it comes to racial shakedowns, few organizations succumb on a grander scale than the National Football League. This tendency was on full display on Tuesday when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and black rapper/business mogul Jay-Z announced a multiyear partnership “to enhance the NFL’s live game experiences and to amplify the league’s social justice efforts.” More plainly, the league is about to entangle itself further with political radicalism. Goodell and company may believe that the pact is good for public relations, but they could not be more wrong.
The NFL for many years has been a prime target of black political operatives in and out of the league. The active player roster across the league’s 32 teams, after all, is nearly two-thirds black. The activism paid handsome dividends when then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, newly reborn as a Black Lives Matter activist, instituted a pregame ritual during … Read More ➡
On the surface, it looks like a compromise. Underneath, it is a capitulation. Yesterday the National Football League and its 32 team owners announced the establishment of a new policy on the issue of player ‘kneel-downs’ during the playing of the national anthem to express solidarity with Black Lives Matter and other radical groups who see America as the land of racial injustice. While the policy nominally bars players from kneeling down on the sidelines and gives owners the latitude to levy fines against violators, it also allows players to protest by remaining in their locker rooms. This is not a resolution. Indeed, it is a guarantee of further political melodrama.
Last November 29, as National Legal and Policy Center discussed at length days later, the National Football League and the NFL Players Association reached an agreement over this issue to ward off controversy. The league would provide $89 million … Read More ➡
The National Football League, a model of fecklessness, has taken the art of surrender to a new level. Last Wednesday evening, November 29, a group of team owners and black players reached a tentative plan to divert at least $89 million over seven years to various radical organizations. The move, an effort to placate the now-ritualized theatrical pregame “kneel-down” player protests during the national anthem, was a gift to two groups in particular, the Players Coalition and the Dream Corps, the latter led by Van Jones, an Obama-era White House adviser. “No decisions have been made on where the money will go yet, much less all the money over the next seven years,” said NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart. His boss, Roger Goodell, meanwhile, won’t have to worry. Two days ago, he signed a five-year contract extension potentially worth $40 million a year.
In what is universally agreed to be the National Football League’s worst year, both on and off the field, in anyone’s long-term memory, team owners appear to be ready to reward Commissioner Roger Goodell with a sizable contract extension.
The NFL’s reputation, for many years signified with pride by its “shield” logo, has been diminished by high-profile domestic violence incidents by some of its players; by increasing awareness of long-term brain injuries the game causes; and most of all, by widespread protests during the playing of the National Anthem before games, where many players have refused to stand with respect.
The response from the league’s formerly robust fandom has shown in both stadium attendance and television viewership. For the last several weeks, pointing out the high number of empty seats at games has become a sport in itself. As for those who used to enjoy Sunday afternoons in … Read More ➡