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Culture Beat / Feb. 2, 2018

Two NFLs: The Protesters and the Lower Paid

Study finds that NFL players most likely to protest the national anthem were among the highest paid.

A recent study found that NFL players who have engaged in kneeling protests during the national anthem are some of the league’s highest paid players. The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that players who protested on average earned $3 million more than their non-protesting teammates. The study noted that players who were selected in the earliest rounds of the draft — those most likely to earn higher salaries — were also three times more likely than other players to be engaged in protest. Of all 2,197 NFL players, the study found that 317 protested the national anthem before at least one game during the 2017 season.

University of Cincinnati political science professor David Niven, who was reportedly astonished by the findings, noted, “The idea in popular culture we talk about is there are two Americas — the rich and the poor. This shows there are two NFLs.” Niven continued, “Players who were protesting inequality in society were doing that from a position of being on top of the NFL’s inequality.”

Not surprisingly, a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that the NFL is losing its core audience. The Journal notes, “Adults who report following the NFL closely have dropped 9% since 2014. … Just 51% of men aged 18 to 49 say they follow the NFL closely, down from 75% four years ago.” That is an incredible decrease, to which undoubtedly the NFL protesting players have contributed (something we in our humble shop can attest to). The Journal also points to a significant decrease in parents wanting their children to play the sport, primarily due to health concerns over brain trauma tied to football concussions.

While the NFL still pulls in high ratings, it’s clear that fan viewership and attendance has dropped — which means revenues are dropping.

Though the League rejected a Super Bowl ad encouraging players to stand for our national anthem, they are attempting to placate military families by including a Medal of Honor recipient for the game’s opening coin toss.

The NFL’s refusal to run ads honoring our national heritage notwithstanding, ads encouraging all Americans to stand for our anthem will be running in local markets. Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) will run a pregame ad in Tennessee markets. And there are, likewise, social media ad campaigns critical of the NFL’s leftist drift.

(Edited.)

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