The NFL is experiencing it's lowest television ratings in almost a decade. Logically, people assume it's due to the NFL boycott, but which one?
The popular narrative is that NFL fans stopped watching games because of their displeasure with NFL players protesting during the National Anthem. However, there is also a large movement to boycott the NFL because quarterback Colin Kaepernick is being blackballed for sparking league wide protests against racial injustices and more specifically, the killing of unarmed people of color by police officers.
photo courtesy of politicususa.com
Origins Of NFL Protests
In his initial remarks on the protest he eloquently stated exactly what he was protesting, why he decided to protest and what he planned to accomplish. In the following weeks, Kaepernick continued to speak out on social issues and started a non-profit organization for underprivileged youth. He also inspired players around the league to stage similar protests before games.
To some, Kaepernick is a voice for the voiceless... a real life hero... a modern day Muhammad Ali. While to others, he is ungrateful and anti-American, coincidentally, the exact same thing they said about Ali during his boycott.
Many fans are outspoken about not watching the NFL anymore because of Kaepernick-caused protests. Meanwhile, Colin Kaepernick's jersey sales have been top 5 in the league since last year.
photo courtesy of John Hefti-USA TODAY
The Other NFL Boycott
It's clear this season that NFL teams are not going to sign him despite dozens of less talented quarterbacks currently playing in the league. Many Kaepernick supporters and supporters of his cause are boycotting the NFL for trying to blatantly silence protests and ignoring and twisting their initial purpose.
The mainstream media is attributing declines in NFL ratings directly to backlash against player protests. NFL fans boycotting the NFL in support of Kaepernick are being completely ignored. All solutions in response to the ratings decline are geared toward fans who are turned off by the protests.
Clearly, the opinions and dollars of certain groups of people are being valued more than others; something we're all too familiar with. One positive we can take away from this situation is that even if Colin Kaepernick never plays again his movement will continue to live on.