It’s no secret that fan boycott of the league has weakened the NFL and fans are staying away in droves.
The league didn’t suffer as much as it could have since a lot of the empty seats were sold but never used. The fear is that those people will not buy season tickets for 2018. Some of the TV contracts will expire in the next couple of years and networks bidding for the contracts will be offering much less money to reflect the shrinking TV audience. This latest round of anthem-kneeling turned off enough fans to spur a serious case of empty stadium syndrome, something that became exceedingly apparent as the year wore on.
The reports from numerous sources are any indication, the World Wrestling Entertainment chairman and CEO certainly has something up his sleeve, it likely involves him becoming an investor in professional football, and kneeling for or otherwise disrespecting the national anthem would definitely not be on the menu.
In other words, a better name might be the MAGAFL. According to ESPN, McMahon has sold $100 million of stock in his WWE, or a total of 3.34 million shares. Filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission said that McMahon sold the stock “primarily to fund a separate entity from the Company, Alpha Entertainment LLC, which Mr. McMahon established to explore investment opportunities across the sports and entertainment landscapes, including professional football.”
McMahon is close to President Donald Trump and his wife Linda, Linda McMahon, is the head of the Small Business Administration, so it’s fairly clear where his loyalties lie politically.
Former San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the first to start the refusal to stand for the national anthem trend back in August 2016, as NFL Media reported at the time:
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media in an exclusive interview after the game. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
President Trump made headlines at a rally this September in Huntsville, Alabama when he said the owners should fire any player who kneels down when the national anthem is played, but the president was not blazing a new trail by saying that. He was, instead, articulating the view of most of the football fans who voted for him.
The core fans of the NFL are patriotic, and they don’t like to see the players, the announcers, the owners, or Commissioner Roger Goodell insult their country.