US NFL commits suicide-by-Trump with politically correct protests

US NFL commits suicide-by-Trump with politically correct protests, by James Robinson.

The NFL is on a politically correct suicide course, alienating fans and wrecking ratings. It can thank former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who last year started the fad of refusing to stand for the pre-game national anthem because he did not want to “stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” …

Defenders of the kneelers say the protest is itself an expression of Americanism, invoking the First Amendment and tradition of dissent. But this is not a First Amendment issue. Employers are allowed to regulate speech in the workplace. The NFL’s personal conduct policy says all employees “must refrain from conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the NFL,” which these protests surely are. The league regularly clamps down on social messaging, such as wearing cleats commemorating the heroes of the 9/11 attacks or decals honoring slain Dallas law enforcement officers. Taking a knee for God can also be problematic, just ask Tim Tebow. But the anthem protests are explicitly league-sanctioned activities.

The kneelers drew President Trump’s ire, who said the proper response to the protests should be, “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He’s fired!” …

Sports are supposed to be fun, but these protests are divisive, distracting and pointless. They are a public relations nightmare that the NFL shows no sign of stopping. Goodell and others want to preach about free expression, but most fans probably prefer their football free of guilt-tripping toxic politics.

Many people are simply tuning out. Television ratings are down double digits so far this year, following an 8% drop last season, and a poll in July found the number one reason was the flag protest issue. Another poll this month found a third of adult Americans are less likely to watch NFL football because of the kneelers. The low ratings could mean league revenue taking a $200 million hit.

It can get worse as the NFL continues to squander the goodwill and political cover it has enjoyed for decades. The public might be less willing to support massive taxpayer subsidies for stadiums. Maybe Congress would find it beneficial to open investigations into how much the league has known about the degenerative brain disease endemic among players, and whether it has knowingly put players at risk by ignoring it …

“Suicide by Trump” for being excessively PC. Ever noticed how people who get into fights with Trump usually lose, and this defies (the media’s) expectations?