Central View: NFL: Requiescat in Pace?
October 3, 2017
In this post-Obama era of racial super-sensitivity, it is necessary to remind readers that this writer marched in the South for Dr. King in the 1960s and supported all the civil rights legislation that did not mandate race-based quotas. Now to the subject-de-jour, the National Football League (NFL):
All ideas are based on something, even if they are wrong. The 200 or so NFL players who have exhibited disrespect for our Flag and National Anthem by refusing to take part in the patriotic ceremony described in the NFL policy manual, may be basing their behavior on the mistaken belief that the African-American, Michael Brown, was shot by a white police officer while Brown had his hands up and was trying to surrender.
On March 4, 2015, President Obama's own Department of Justice (DOJ) concluded that Michael Brown was shot while assaulting a police officer who fired in self-defense. The slowness, even reluctance, of the mainstream media (MSM) to correct the false narrative of Brown as an innocent victim recalls what Jonathan Swift wrote in 1710: "Falsehood flies, and the truth comes limping after."
As best one can tell, the players are protesting based on their perception that American law enforcement is stacked against African-Americans. But FBI and other official crime statistics run contra to that perception. Ergo: The players and apparently some of their owners are victims, if you will, of what the Ancients called: Argumentum ad Populum, i.e., something false is true because so many believe it to be true.
The irony is that the "kneeling" players, like the Biblical Samson, may be pulling the pillars of the NFL temple down around their heads; pillars that are constructed of a highly patriotic fan base that includes a great many military veterans of all races. Consequently, the "kneelers," with help from some of their apparently bewildered employers, may have gotten the NFL into a lose-lose public relations battle.
For example, some members of Congress are talking about removing the tax-exempt status from the NFL front office. Moreover, the practice of building mammoth new stadiums with tax-favored bonds and tax-forgiveness might come to an end. The Brookings Institution finds, since 2000, 36 stadiums have received $3.2 billion in taxpayer dollars, dollars coming out of the pockets of taxpayers, many of whom cannot afford to attend an NFL game.
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Some of the employers give the appearance of being afraid of their employees who, by the way, enjoy an average salary of $1.9 million per year. And, given the NFL player crime statistics thus far in 2017, the employers may have good reason to be fearful.
So far, in 2017, 31 NFL players have been arrested — many with multiple charges — including ten for assault (often domestic violence), six for drugs, five for DWI, five for weapons violations, three for resisting arrest, along with a variety of lesser crimes. If those arrests are the basis of the current protests, it seems rather counterproductive for the "kneelers" to draw attention to the criminal behavior of their fellow players.
Meanwhile, NFL advertising revenues and viewer numbers are dropping faster than 16 feet per second squared. When terminal velocity is reached, the NFL may be dead. R.I.P.
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, is a laureate of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, the Nebraska Aviation Hall of Fame, the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma University Army ROTC Wall of Fame, and is a recipient of the University of Nebraska 2015 Alumni Achievement Award. He was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University. For more, see: http://www.central-view.com.