The NFL’s Collapse

The NFL’s Collapse

What an amazing casualty of these times…the colossus of American sports is going to collapse in a matter of months, and there’s no obvious path by which it will ever be restored.

Donald Trump succeeded in capturing in his usual brash and brawling style the mood of the core of the NFL’s fan base when he referred to NFL players sitting out the national anthem when he said “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, say, ‘Get that son of a b—- off the field right now…out, you’re fired!’”

Trump’s comment wasn’t racist; nor are the American people racist.  But they are sick and tired of seeing their weekend escape politicized, and of seeing their country and its national anthem disrespected and denounced as racist and oppressive and unfair by twenty-somethings making millions of dollars to play a game.

Trump hit the nail on the head, but because it was said by Trump, and because the accepted media narrative is that Trump is a racist, the battle lines have been joined in the world of punditry and political opinion.  And Trump will have made himself into a political piñata again.

But for the NFL’s purposes, it isn’t going to matter who can preen and posture the best in the battle of punditry and opinion.  Because here’s the reality:  America’s NFL fan base has been voting with their feet, and will continue to do so.  And their votes are going to be “NO” to any more patronage of the NFL.   Before this season is over, some stadiums may not be even 15% filled.

And all of this will happen as attendance and enthusiasm for college football may go to all-time highs.  Same game, played by the same mixture of sizes, shapes and skin colors, but wildly different crowd direction.

This fact will not—but ought to—convince reasonable observers as to the nature of the problem.  It’s not racism.

It is the NFL players politicizing actions that are a direct result of the absolutely poisonous environment created and fostered by the Obama administration in its deceitful treatment of the cases of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

People may think those cases are far in the past and have no bearing on today.  But both prompted completely false narratives about life in America, including specifically about law enforcement in America.

The Trayvon Martin narrative was that of an innocent teenager skipping through a neighborhood with his bag of Skittles, when he was accosted and randomly murdered by ‘white Hispanic’ George Zimmerman.   The truth was about 180 degrees opposite; Martin was a juvenile delinquent with a record; he was regularly high on ‘lean’ and trying to get higher; he reacted to Zimmerman’s approach by attacking him and he had him pinned on the ground and was pounding Zimmerman’s skull into the concrete when Zimmerman shot him; and there is no such thing as a ‘white Hispanic’.  (Take a look at Bill Whittle’s famous video to get the facts).

In sum, Trayvon Martin’s death was indeed a tragedy and people of good faith rightly wish circumstances had unfolded differently so that it could have been avoided.  But it had nothing to do with racism, and was not a commentary on some sort of systemic flaws in America.  The mainstream media’s coverage of it was and is a commentary on its flaws.

Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder knew the truth about the Trayvon Martin incident (a full DOJ investigation could come up with nothing on Zimmerman), yet they did absolutely nothing to correct the narrative.

Michael Brown was another tragedy.  But eyewitness grand jury testimony from a black woman (who openly acknowledged her distrust of police) specifically affirmed that Michael Brown was charging the police officer and the police officer had no choice but to shoot. (See “Ferguson, the Play”). In simple and profound terms, ‘hands up, don’t shoot’ never happened.

Barack Obama and Eric Holder knew this truth, too, but never spoke that truth.  They were perfectly ok with the spread of the ‘hands up, don’t shoot’ narrative because it served their political agenda.

Yet this unrebutted narrative soon led players on the NFL’s then St. Louis Rams to enter the stadium in a ‘hands up, don’t shoot’ posture, and it’s fair to observe that Colin Kaapernick found much of his motivation from this same utterly false narrative.

So fast forward to today.  Ignorant players want the NFL to use an entire month of November to stage social justice awareness campaigns in order to address the social justice travesties that they believe are occurring in this country largely by reason of utterly false narratives that they have swallowed hook, line and sinker—because political leaders like Obama and Holder encouraged them to swallow it hook, line and sinker.

Of course there have been actual incidents of police misconduct (before and after the Martin and Brown incidents), and of course there is work to be done before American society (or any other portion of humanity) achieves full racial harmony.  But the deceit surrounding Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown was deliberate and powerful, and cannot be overstated in its impact.

That’s why Americans are fed up.  They’ve been portrayed by their own media and political leaders to be ‘deplorable’ racists and white supremacists for so long and so falsely that they’ve had enough.

Let Colin Kaapernick and Michael Bennett and the leftist media and all the rest posture and lecture Americans on how bad they and their country are.  Let the pundits have another field day screaming TRUMP #$%!!  Americans are tuning out, and the NFL is collapsing.  So sad, and so avoidable—if there were just a little more respect for the truth.

Paul Gable