By Garrett Athey
Recently audiences have been turned away from something that once united people all across the country. The NFL has recently been losing fans and is struggling to regain them. The ratings for games are low as fewer people are tuning into to watch them. Ticket sales have also taken a drop recently and fan attendance is low for all teams. NFL owners, as well as Commissioner Roger Goodell, are currently trying to find a solution to this rapidly growing problem.
The problem started to arise after the players’ on field protest during the national anthem. Many of the players decided to take a stand by taking a knee during the playing of the “Star Spangled Banner” instead of standing up like people are asked to. The athletes claim that they were fighting for equality in America by protesting the anthem. These acts of protests are still going on and many owners of NFL teams support the actions of the players. However, many others became very opposed to the antics of the players. President Donald Trump was one of the major individuals opposed to the protests and stated that the players who protest should be fired. Many fans felt similarly to the situation of the protests and felt the players were disgracing the flag and the soldiers who fought for it by not standing. To protest the protestors, fans stopped watching the games which has caused the NFL to decline in popularity and resulted in the league losing money.
The topic has people divided as to whether or not the NFL players are doing the right thing or if the NFL needs to make a change soon. Opinions against the protests are very strong as a lot of people feel like the players are dishonoring America. Senior Seth Taylor said, “If you cannot stand for the National Anthem and honor those that have fallen for your freedom, you should just leave.” Many believe not standing for the flag is disrespecting the soldiers who fought and died for the flag. This is the main reason why people are against the protests, as they feel their country is being hated on.
However, others have different feelings about the protests, Senior Jordan Taylor said, “They have the right to, but I do not think the players carried out the protests in the right way because it does seem like they are disrespecting the soldiers who fought.” The players do have the right to protest because of freedom of speech, therefore they can not be legally obligated to stand for the national anthem.
It is clear that the NFL has a problem on its hands and need to resolve the issue quickly before things get out of hand. If the NFL continues to carry on with these issues, there is no telling how much of a hole they will be in later on. For the business side part of the NFL, owners and the commissioner need to come together to find an answer.