Thursday, August 6, 2020
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Major Sports Leagues Bend The Knee

Major sports teams NBA, NFL, and Nascar are all bending the knee for Black Lives Matter (BLM). The ongoing George Floyd protests have sparked a divide between owners/staff, players, viewers, and corporate money – mostly advertisers.

Owners and staff generally want to keep the gravy train rolling in their respective sports. But some of them may want to jump into the fray of protesting for “racial equality” and things of that nature. Players appear to be as divided as regular people are in the NBA and the NFL.

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Some players think that protesting on-the-clock is necessary, some say it isn’t. NBA star Kyrie Irving actually wants to boycott the entire season because he doesn’t want to distract away from BLM protests. A large portion of big-named NFL guys want the Colin Kaepernick era of anthem-kneeling to return. Even Dr. Ben Carson is in favor of anthem-kneeling although President Trump is adamantly – and vocally – against it.

NASCAR drivers are pretty much in unison against protesting on or off the clock. They did, however, order all Confederate Flags removed from all raceways. They had been a staple in southern culture at raceways for years before that. And there is one driver who is in favor of protesting, on the clock. Bubba Wallace. He is biracial black and white and drives an all-black car with #BLACKLIVESMATTER emblazoned on the side.

Fan’s Don’t Like The Changes

Everyday viewers of the aforementioned sports are generally conservative and male. Especially NFL and NASCAR. The strange direction all of these sports are going in when it comes to social issues will most certainly turn many of them off. Mostly because the protesting is happening in-game rather than off-the-clock. NFL reportedly lost up to 20% revenue because of the Kaepernick fiasco the first time. The NFL also introduced male cheerleaders, so that didn’t help much either.

Big Television Monies

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So the elephant in the room should be very clear for anyone to see. It’s the trillion-dollar question. Why would any sports league openly engage in protesting on-the-clock when fans generally do not like it and vote with their wallet? Enter corporate money/ advertising budgets. If advertisers think that the NBA, NFL, and NASCAR are insensitive to current social issues involving race, then they may pull funding.

This means lower revenue for TV licensing deals because of lower bid money on commercials. With less funding comes lower contracts for the players, which would already trend somewhat lower due to a reduction in fan attendance and viewership because of the protesting. The NFL and NBA would like to control the protesting but want to uphold an image of being player-first.

So the only alternative for regular joes is to simply abandon ship. Throw the baby out with the bath water. NASCAR, NBA, and NFL leave their fans without much of a choice. It’s sad but it is what it is.

SOURCES:

Despite Donald Trump’s stand, some leaders now support NFL players kneeling during national anthem

Trump loses 2 pivotal allies in his anti-kneeling crusade: NASCAR and the NFL – POLITICO

NASCAR’s Bubba Wallace races in Black Lives Matter car

NFL On Kneeling Players’ Protests: ‘We Were Wrong,’ Commissioner Says : Live Updates: Protests For Racial Justice : NPR

2 NFL Male LA Rams Cheerleaders Will Make Football History In Super Bowl Game : NPR

Debate engendered by Kyrie Irving has NBA players taking sides on return-to-play – NetsDaily

NBA to test players and staff for coronavirus every other day before going to Orlando

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