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Posted: May 30, 2018 - 1:55pm

How Trump’s Pressure Influenced the NFL to Change Its Anthem Rules (WSJ)
Depositions in Kaepernick’s grievance indicate Donald Trump’s criticism of player protests prompted league to shift stance
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Posted: May 26, 2018 - 12:56pm

The NFL Panders to Trump
By surrendering to the president, the league continues to throw its players under the bus
(...) The phrasing is quite Orwellian: "All team and league personnel on the field shall stand and show respect for the flag and Anthem." This language belies what Goodell declared in a statement announcing the new rules: "It is unfortunate that on-field protests created a false perception among many that thousands of NFL players were unpatriotic. This is not and was never the case." That perception was not a result of the protests; the president and others who deliberately sought to mask authoritarianism with empty performances of allegiance created it. In a Fox News interview on Thursday morning, Trump said, "I don't think people should be staying in locker rooms, but still I think it's good. You have to stand – proudly – for the national anthem or you shouldn't be playing, you shouldn't be there, maybe you shouldn't be in the country."

And why does the league fall for this? One main concern appears to be the maintenance of the military marketing that has become endemic to every American sporting event. The defense of the pregame (and at times, in-game) pageantry is most understandable within the context of the seemingly irreversible change the country has undergone in the last several years. The Stars and Stripes, already lending its colors to three major-league insignias, has itself become a sports logo for a good reason. Patriotism, or what we too often mistake for it, is now a marketable commodity for teams and leagues. To understand what is happening in the NFL right now, you have to go back to the fear mongering that emerged after September 11th, 2001.

As ESPN journalist and author Howard Bryant notes in his forthcoming book The Heritage, the nexus of the military and law enforcement "has rarely been framed as a political response to perhaps the worst day in modern American history" – yet it is unavoidably political. The sports world, he writes, "embraced jingoism in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks but was unequipped to deal with complexity at home. It was easy to throw the word patriotism around but not quite so easy to tell just who the heroes really were." To boot, there were and still are social penalties assessed for not adhering to the new script. Heaven forbid a fan tries to kneel as a flag is unfurled over the length of a football field, or questions why the anthem is being played before a sporting event at all. (...)

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Posted: May 25, 2018 - 12:44pm

 sirdroseph wrote:
 R_P wrote:
I find that hard to believe, since any brand is sensitive to negative publicity. And nobody has produced quite the negativity (while cloaking themselves in 'patriotism') as Trump and Pence have (they do have somewhat high profiles and a media that reports every single word they say):

Trump turned the debate into a campaign issue , saying the NFL should fire any player who takes a knee during "The Star-Spangled Banner." The NFL hasn't gone that far, but Kaepernick and Reid believe they are being singled out as leaders in the movement.

Both have filed collusion grievances against the NFL .

There was no immediate comment from Trump on the new policy, but Vice President Mike Pence called it "a win for the fans, a win for (Trump), and a win for America." Last season, Pence walked out of game at Indianapolis after some players kneeled during the anthem.

"Americans can once again come together around what unites us — our flag, our military, and our National Anthem. Thank you NFL," Pence tweeted, adding the hashtag "ProudToStand."

 
Again, if it wasn't costing them money. They really don't care.
 
Ultimately the bottom line is always money. But many things can affect it.
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Posted: May 25, 2018 - 12:31pm

 R_P wrote:

I find that hard to believe, since any brand is sensitive to negative publicity. And nobody has produced quite the negativity (while cloaking themselves in 'patriotism') as Trump and Pence have (they do have somewhat high profiles and a media that reports every single word they say):

Trump turned the debate into a campaign issue , saying the NFL should fire any player who takes a knee during "The Star-Spangled Banner." The NFL hasn't gone that far, but Kaepernick and Reid believe they are being singled out as leaders in the movement.

Both have filed collusion grievances against the NFL .

There was no immediate comment from Trump on the new policy, but Vice President Mike Pence called it "a win for the fans, a win for (Trump), and a win for America." Last season, Pence walked out of game at Indianapolis after some players kneeled during the anthem.

"Americans can once again come together around what unites us — our flag, our military, and our National Anthem. Thank you NFL," Pence tweeted, adding the hashtag "ProudToStand."



 




Again, if it wasn't costing them money. They really don't care.
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Posted: May 25, 2018 - 12:21pm

 sirdroseph wrote:
(...) the NFL does not give a rats ass what Trump or anybody else other than paying customers think. (...)
 
I find that hard to believe, since any brand is sensitive to negative publicity. And nobody has produced quite the negativity (while cloaking themselves in 'patriotism') as Trump and Pence have (they do have somewhat high profiles and a media that reports every single word they say):

Trump turned the debate into a campaign issue , saying the NFL should fire any player who takes a knee during "The Star-Spangled Banner." The NFL hasn't gone that far, but Kaepernick and Reid believe they are being singled out as leaders in the movement.

Both have filed collusion grievances against the NFL .

There was no immediate comment from Trump on the new policy, but Vice President Mike Pence called it "a win for the fans, a win for (Trump), and a win for America." Last season, Pence walked out of game at Indianapolis after some players kneeled during the anthem.

"Americans can once again come together around what unites us — our flag, our military, and our National Anthem. Thank you NFL," Pence tweeted, adding the hashtag "ProudToStand."


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Posted: May 25, 2018 - 12:17pm

 Proclivities wrote:

Keep in mind: the fans are not the "paying customers" that the NFL derives the majority its money from.  The NFL receives something like 65% of its income from TV broadcasters, who derive their income from advertisers (though many advertisers and manufacturers do deal directly with the league or with the the teams).  Now that more people can skip the ads via DVR, the cable stations charge for expensive sports bundles in order to pay the NFL.  Ticket sales are a small part of the overall income, but ultimately, whether or not people are actually watching the games, and overall public opinion does determine the income of the league.

 




True, the overriding point is appeasing income sources is all the NFL is concerned with. They are not interested in justice, politics, nationalism, patriotism or any of that only in the context of how it profits them. Same could be said with the close alliance to the military, it is all public relations.
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Posted: May 25, 2018 - 12:08pm

 sirdroseph wrote:
 R_P wrote:

Riiiiiight.

 
I stand by this. Unless Trump is behind the scenes affecting their money in some way, but the NFL does not give a rats ass what Trump or anybody else other than paying customers think. Now he could have an indirect effect on the bottom line if his zealot followers are large enough in number to boycott the NFL or not based upon his opinions, but hard to gauge the data on that. But trust me the NFL only cares about Trump if he affects their bottom line. This is all about money.

 
Keep in mind: the fans are not the "paying customers" that the NFL derives the majority its money from.  The NFL receives something like 65% of its income from TV broadcasters, who derive their income from advertisers (though many advertisers and manufacturers do deal directly with the league or with the the teams).  Now that more people can skip the ads via DVR, the cable stations charge for expensive sports bundles in order to pay the NFL.  Ticket sales are a small part of the overall income, but ultimately, whether or not people are actually watching the games, and overall public opinion does determine the income of the league.
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Posted: May 25, 2018 - 12:06pm

 SeriousLee wrote:

Ya. I doubt very much the NFL made a decision based on anything Trump may have said or done. But I think it does go beyond just what the paying customer thinks. Public opinion does factor in, I believe, in this case. Especially since it concerns the flag and the anthem.

Just my two cents. Now I need to get back to my rum. {#Cheers}

 




Absolutely that is what I was saying public opinion is dollars and cents.
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Posted: May 25, 2018 - 11:56am

 sirdroseph wrote:
 R_P wrote:

Riiiiiight.

 


I stand by this. Unless Trump is behind the scenes affecting their money in some way, but the NFL does not give a rats ass what Trump or anybody else other than paying customers think. Now he could have an indirect effect on the bottom line if his zealot followers are large enough in number to boycott the NFL or not based upon his opinions, but hard to gauge the data on that. But trust me the NFL only cares about Trump if he affects their bottom line. This is all about money.

 
Ya. I doubt very much the NFL made a decision based on anything Trump may have said or done. But I think it does go beyond just what the paying customer thinks. Public opinion does factor in, I believe, in this case. Especially since it concerns the flag and the anthem.

Just my two cents. Now I need to get back to my rum. {#Cheers}
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Posted: May 25, 2018 - 11:47am

 R_P wrote:

Riiiiiight.

 




I stand by this. Unless Trump is behind the scenes affecting their money in some way, but the NFL does not give a rats ass what Trump or anybody else other than paying customers think. Now he could have an indirect effect on the bottom line if his zealot followers are large enough in number to boycott the NFL or not based upon his opinions, but hard to gauge the data on that. But trust me the NFL only cares about Trump if he affects their bottom line. This is all about money.
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Posted: May 25, 2018 - 11:30am

 sirdroseph wrote:
but the NFL policy change has absolutely nothing to do with the Trump
 
Riiiiiight.
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Posted: May 25, 2018 - 10:40am

 Red_Dragon wrote:


 




Again, this would only be a relevant comparison if the US government proclaimed that it is unlawful for the players not to stand for the national anthem which of course they are not and cannot according to our constitution. This is simply about the business that is the NFL losing money because enough of the fans i.e. customers do not like the image and are turning away apparently in droves to illicit such a drastic response from the corporation. Now, you can point the finger of blame at the fan base for this reaction, but the NFL policy change has absolutely nothing to do with the Trump, the US government, free speech or even the issues the players wish to spotlight by not standing in the first place other than the fan base don't like them doing it. If the fan base didn't care neither would the NFL. Believe me they would rather all of this just go away which is why I think they have made a terribly unwise business decision that will come back to bite them and everyone else associated with the NFL including the players. Personally I think the fans that are so offended by these protest are indeed hypocritical, but the NFL does not care about my opinion, they only care if I am still watching.
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Posted: May 25, 2018 - 6:50am


maryte

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Posted: May 24, 2018 - 11:14am

 islander wrote:

How our national dialog should have gone.  I really have trouble getting the perspective of people seeing taking a knee as dis-respective. It is respectful in every other circumstance, and certainly better than 'sitting it out'.  I have trouble with the 'with us or against us' view, especially when it leads to patriotism is only done 'this way'. We should be upholding values, not symbols.

 

When it becomes "with us or against us," that's when you know it's moved from patriotism to nationalism - next stop, fascism.
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Posted: May 24, 2018 - 10:46am

 cc_rider wrote:

It's a really nice story. Nate Boyer is the Green Beret. He left college at Texas, then came back after his service and finished his eligibility. By all accounts a very classy guy who brought a lot of wisdom to the team. His open letter could have been full of vitriol, instead he sought understanding and common ground.

Separate anecdote: in the locker room before a game, some dignitary came in to give them a pep talk. Well, the person said something like 'This isn't just football, this is war!' That didn't sit too well with Mr. Boyer, and he called the guy out. Having been in combat, he politely explained the differences. Class.
c.

 
How our national dialog should have gone.  I really have trouble getting the perspective of people seeing taking a knee as dis-respective. It is respectful in every other circumstance, and certainly better than 'sitting it out'.  I have trouble with the 'with us or against us' view, especially when it leads to patriotism is only done 'this way'. We should be upholding values, not symbols.
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Posted: May 24, 2018 - 10:20am

 ScottFromWyoming wrote:

Except that by standing—anyone, standing—for the anthem, addressing the flag with hand over heart, we/they are saying *something*. They are being forced to stand up and speak in front of cameras that they have no problem with our country at the moment, everything's great. Kaepernick originally just sat on the bench, rather than participate in that. An ex-military teammate hinted that that was disrespectful and suggested taking a knee; respect the flag, don't participate in the charade.

The NFL policy will allow Kaep et al to remain in the locker room during the anthem; if they'd had the option before, I suspect Kaepernick would have just sat it out.

 
It's a really nice story. Nate Boyer is the Green Beret. He left college at Texas, then came back after his service and finished his eligibility. By all accounts a very classy guy who brought a lot of wisdom to the team. His open letter could have been full of vitriol, instead he sought understanding and common ground.

Separate anecdote: in the locker room before a game, some dignitary came in to give them a pep talk. Well, the person said something like 'This isn't just football, this is war!' That didn't sit too well with Mr. Boyer, and he called the guy out. Having been in combat, he politely explained the differences. Class.
c.
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Posted: May 24, 2018 - 10:08am

 islander wrote:
I'm still wondering why we do the national anthem at sports games, and why it's mostly the athletes participation we focus on.  

a) if it's just entertainment, why don't we have the anthem at movies, and before tv shows, or concerts?

b) If it's bad for the athletes to take a knee, why is it okay for Average Joe, to grab a beer?  Shouldn't concessions be closed down?  Also restrooms.  At home I'm sure everyone in the living room is standing with their hats off and hands over their hearts right?
 
Don't give them more ideas.
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Posted: May 24, 2018 - 10:01am

 ScottFromWyoming wrote:

Except that by standing—anyone, standing—for the anthem, addressing the flag with hand over heart, we/they are saying *something*. They are being forced to stand up and speak in front of cameras that they have no problem with our country at the moment, everything's great. Kaepernick originally just sat on the bench, rather than participate in that. An ex-military teammate hinted that that was disrespectful and suggested taking a knee; respect the flag, don't participate in the charade.

The NFL policy will allow Kaep et al to remain in the locker room during the anthem; if they'd had the option before, I suspect Kaepernick would have just sat it out.

 
I'm still wondering why we do the national anthem at sports games, and why it's mostly the athletes participation we focus on.  

a) if it's just entertainment, why don't we have the anthem at movies, and before tv shows, or concerts?

b) If it's bad for the athletes to take a knee, why is it okay for Average Joe, to grab a beer?  Shouldn't concessions be closed down?  Also restrooms.  At home I'm sure everyone in the living room is standing with their hats off and hands over their hearts right?
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Posted: May 24, 2018 - 6:14am

 sirdroseph wrote:

Everyone is messing this whole thing up and missing the point, this is not or should not even be a free speech issue at all. What it should be is an employer/employee conflict that has nothing to do with free speech. 

 
Except that by standing—anyone, standing—for the anthem, addressing the flag with hand over heart, we/they are saying *something*. They are being forced to stand up and speak in front of cameras that they have no problem with our country at the moment, everything's great. Kaepernick originally just sat on the bench, rather than participate in that. An ex-military teammate hinted that that was disrespectful and suggested taking a knee; respect the flag, don't participate in the charade.

The NFL policy will allow Kaep et al to remain in the locker room during the anthem; if they'd had the option before, I suspect Kaepernick would have just sat it out.
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Posted: May 24, 2018 - 5:35am

 R_P wrote:


 





Everyone is messing this whole thing up and missing the point, this is not or should not even be a free speech issue at all. What it should be is an employer/employee conflict that has nothing to do with free speech. Of course the players should be able to protest the anthem all they want........on their own time. If the NFL does not want them protesting the anthem then they have every right to enforce this rule as they please. I don't think it is a wise business move to handle it this way, but they have the right to do so just as your employer has the right to fire you if you call your boss an asshole to his face. You have every right to do so and your employer has every right to fire you for doing this as well. What the NFL should do if they were smart and they're not, is just quit playing the anthem before games. Seems like a silly out dated jingoistic practice anyway. Either way, they are all going down because the GAME has become a business and political theatre for the employees and I for one being a lifelong NFL fan and historian as a child have totally lost interest and have stopped watching. And to be clear, I have not stopped watching for political reasons, I understand and support the reason why the players are doing this even though I do not think it is actually helping their cause mostly because of the reasons I stated before. The very people the players are trying to reach are never going to listen now because they are viewing it purely through the short sighted jingoistic prism of disrespect to the anthem and are being guided and prodded to by those with an agenda including and especially Trump. He should have gone against his very nature and just have been quiet and let the NFL handle it as they saw fit. If he was smart and we all know he is not, this would have all died down and not have been a problem, but that ship is sailed and there will be absolutely no good that will come with this other than the satisfaction that the NFL is on the decline and will completely fail and the owners will lose their teams and all NFL employees from custodians, cheerleaders and the players themselves will be out of work. Hope everyone is happy.


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