With last year’s 100th anniversary of a brutal sport that has no counterpoint outside of the U.S., this should be a time of self-congratulations for the NFL.
Super Bowl vs. World Series
For example, reasons Victor Davis Hanson in NRO, the almost obscene profits for the NFL dwarf those of other professional sports in the U.S. “The Super Bowl, not the World Series, is America’s national sports event.”
The league’s owners are a cross-section of America’s most successful entrepreneurs and old-money families — many of them politically well connected.
In 2016, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem. He claimed he was protesting the treatment of African Americans.
Kapernick – Corporate Ad Man for Nike Sneakers
Kaepernick’s rejection of “The Star-Spangled Banner” eventually spread throughout the NFL. Even though he was a backup quarterback, Kaepernick became a #Resistance idol. Soon he was a corporate ad man, pitching Nike sneakers.
Falling Game Attendance and TV Viewership
Apparently, lots of fans had no desire to spend their Sundays watching 20-something multimillionaires lecture them that the American flag was not worth honoring.
NFL owners and head coaches are almost all white. But nearly three-quarters of the players are black. Those who play the game obviously want to see more diversity in coaching and ownership.
Who Does Not Look Like America
In a culture so obsessed with identity politics, is it the players or the owners and coaches (or both) who do not “look like America”?
Given that about 13 percent of the U.S. population is black, and given that the Black Lives Matter movement embraces concepts such as proportional representation, today’s NFL teams hardly qualify as diverse. Social activists might argue that the league should mentor and recruit more Latinos, Asian Americans, and Native Americans to better reflect their percentages of our diverse national population.
This progressive model of proportional representation could also apply to overrepresented white athletes in hockey, tennis, golf, and swimming — sports faulted by identity-politics groups as being unfairly overrepresented by whites.
Obviously, such racial gerrymandering will not happen because fans value meritocracy over ethnic affiliations.
Will Fans Shrug and Change the Channel
If the multibillion-dollar NFL decides that multimillionaire players have no obligation to stand to honor a collective national anthem, and that there will be separate anthems and politicized uniforms, then millions of Americans will quietly shrug and change the channel.