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NFL fans across America set jerseys ablaze--Burn, baby burn!

houston texans

Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium Photo by Joseph Earnest.


by Joseph Earnest September 30, 2017


Newscast Media HOUSTON—What started out as a protest by a single NFL player against police brutality, has turned into a public relations nightmare for the National Football League, due to blowback from football fans and advertisers across America.


When Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers football player refused to stand for the national anthem last year, his explanation was that he took a knee to protest police brutality and systemic oppression against people of color. He also said he wasn't doing it to disrespect the flag. As of today, no NFL team has signed Kaepernick to play this football season, and it remains to be seen if he'll ever get a contract to play again in the league.


Things took a twist when The Donald, last week, said owners of NFL teams should fire the "sumbitches" who disrespect the flag by kneeling.


According to a recent survey, 77 percent of football fans believe it is wrong for players to kneel during the national anthem.


Fans across America have been reacting by burning NFL gear and memorabilia, out of anger toward football players, who are perceived to be protesting the flag and anthem in the wrong place. Fans assert, these football players are paid millions of dollars to play the game, not to mix politics with sports. Fans argue, if these players really want to send a resounding message, rather than protest in people's living rooms during game time, they should go and protest in front of police stations, or petition local politicians to write laws against police brutality. Below is a montage of some of the burnings:



NFL team owners, last weekend, knelt with players as a symbol of support, but they didn't anticipate that sponsors and fans, who are the actual consumers, would turn against the league.


Viewership has dropped and more viewers are unsubscribing from or boycotting sports channels, ticket sales have also plunged up to 31 percent, according to CBS News, NFL memorabilia and merchandise is now unpopular, and more lawmakers are now calling for the NFL to fire players who disrespect the flag and anthem by kneeling instead of standing.


houston texans

 A preseason game between the Houston Texans and the New Orleans Saints Photo by Joseph Earnest.

Stuart Varney, a broadcaster, said the left is using identity politics to encourage division and push its own agenda.

"Most liberals don't much care for football. It's too masculine, too brutal," he said, adding that several figures "jumped on anthem protests and turned them into an opportunity to display an anti-Trump sentiment."

Rush Limbaugh, the biggest name in talk radio said, "...We’re dealing with liberalism here, and we’re dealing with the left, and that’s just not how they operate. Everybody knows how much I love the NFL and how bigger than life it’s always seemed to me, but it doesn’t seem bigger than life. It just seems like a tool now. It’s become a tool. I don’t mean slang for fool. It has become something being used by the political forces of the left to advance their agenda, which is an anti-American agenda."

Another argument raised by fans is that,  protesting sacred items such as the flag and national anthem, is out of place, since it is the men and women in the military who fought in honor of the country, represented by the very flag they are disrespecting, who have enabled these athletes to make millions of dollars, while the soldiers who are providing the freedom to protest, are making barely above minimum wage.


Enraged fans are reminding football players that they are the ones (as consumers) who make the NFL players rich, through the purchase of tickets, merchandise and cable subscriptions, therefore the league should respect their wishes and ban protesting during game time.



 Houston Texans training camp Photo by Joseph Earnest


The sport is a big business. As revenue starts to drop, due to boycotting of the fans and negative PR, it will come as no surprise, as early as this weekend, if team owners ban players from protesting on the field, as a means of damage control, in order to protect their bottom lines.



Meanwhile, the NBA issued a memo directing staff to stand during the national anthem.

According to ESPN's Zach Lowe, the memo stated, " Players, coaches, and trainers are to stand and line up in a dignified posture along the sidelines or on the foul line during the playing of the National Anthem."


The memo states that individual teams “do not have the discretion to waive” the rule that players, coaches, and staff must stand for the anthem. The league has the discretion to discipline players who violate the rule, according to DeadSpin. Add Comments>>
















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