This Is Not the NFL

raidersThe Oakland Raiders remained seated during the National Anthem during a Sunday night game versus the Washington Redskins.

Editor’s Note: Feel free to copy, paraphrase, or edit any of the content of this letter. I encourage anyone who wants to make their displeasure known, to contact the NFL, their sponsors, and their media outlets. Let them know what you think.

Dear NFL, (Sponsors, and Media associates),

I regret to inform you that until further notice, I won’t be attending any NFL games, view or listen to your broadcasts, nor read, listen to, or watch any NFL related media. As a decades-long football fan, it’s a choice I don’t make casually.

This kneeling thing has gotten so far beyond tolerable that it’s made pro sports unwatchable. So I’m no longer going to attend games that include unsolicited political demonstrations. Whether it’s in person or via TV, radio, online, or print, I can’t be a spectator of what has become out-of-control stupidity that the NFL should have addressed well over a year ago.

I don’t dispute the players’ rights to express their opinions, but let’s not forget that it’s a two-way street. These protesters, and those who support them, must understand that I have a right to respond to their demonstrations in whatever manner I choose. And so I have.

For all I know, some athletes may have some valid points. But frankly I don’t care. There are more than ample numbers of public forums where political views can be exchanged. Pro sports shouldn’t be one of them.

I’m pretty sure that my reaction isn’t some lone voice in the desert crying out. I’ve seen the public outrage, and it should be taken seriously. Whether our perspectives are valid or not, it doesn’t matter. What should matter is whether or not pro sports franchises can remain viable when they’ve alienated a large segment of their audience.

It would be a shame if the NFL crumbled under the weight of politically driven policies. I hope you take an honest look at how these various protests could be adversely affecting your brand. I see a potential PR disaster from which you might find difficult to recover. NFL games shouldn’t be used as soap boxes for athletes who want to promote their personal political agendas. That’s not the NFL.


Chris Shugart

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