No matter how wealthy you are or how popular your business is, you definitely don’t want to anger president of the United States. This especially is the case if that man is Donald Trump, even that he hasn’t been in the office for a long time, he is already known for his, sometimes hard to understand, behavior.
According to reports, NFL team owners are scared of Trump, or how the source stated “Our league is f—–g terrified of Trump. We’re scared of him.” This is related to the protests that occurred during the last season when some of the players knelt during the national anthem.
This move was heavily criticized by President Trump, and the league saw a significant drop in numbers as it was perceived as a disrespect to the flag and anthem. No measures were taken against those players, but it was said by some team owners that this behavior could get some people benched while Trump yearned for even bigger punishments towards anyone supporting this type of protest. This is what he stated in a highly criticized speech in Alabama while stumping for then-U.S. Sen. Luther Strange “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b—- off the field right now, he’s fired.’ You know, some owner’s going to do that.” That is not all as he has also stated how the NFL’s business “would go to hell” in case that they do nothing to prevent this type of behavior.
It wouldn’t be wise to neglect anything that POTUS says, so the league and team owners decided to react as they are quite scared of what Mr. Trump could do. As a result, they decided to implement the rules saying that everyone needs to stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said: “This season, all league and team personnel shall stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem. Personnel who choose not to stand for the Anthem may stay in the locker room until after the Anthem has been performed.”
Protests damaged NFL ratings, and it saw a 9.7 fall across all networks meaning that about 14.9 million people watched games compared to 16.5 million viewers in season 2016. Although there were some drops in numbers, this didn’t stop the league signing two huge deals. Verizon bought rights to stream games for $1.5 billion while the five-year contract has been made with Fox Sports to broadcast Thursday Night Football for $3 billion.