We are living in interesting times. That's not a compliment. After a decade or so of improving Internet speeds and content, traditional media is facing a new reality. They are suffering. Newspapers are rapidly dying, in part to gross biases and bad journalism, but also to a massive drop in traditional paper readership.
Movies and TV have felt the burn. Long gone are the days when a prime time, network TV can count on 20 million-plus viewership of their hit shows. They're lucky if they get a million on a good day.
Even movies are facing a dearth in their audience. Although the biggest movies brag about billion-dollar take in's (of which they don't pay taxes) due to inflated ticket prices and surcharges, they suffer a drop-off each week a movie is in theaters, thanks to strong competition from Netflix, online gaming, and other new forms of entertainment.
With all that being said, you'd think networks would be working overtime to recoup their losses. That they would be trying extra-hard to draw in viewers, to provide better content than services like YouTube, with its 2-minute long videos of cats.
Yet from all appearances, TV networks are doing the same, tired things, content that their mediocre, outdated content will win the day.
This is especially true of professional sports. Leagues like the NBA, MLB, and NFL have created an environment where their content is available only through limited means. Either you watch it live on your local TV station or pay high prices for special "sports packages" through your cable provider. Either way, professional sports seem to be thriving in this post-Internet entertainment landscape.
Then came social justice warriors.
Not content to only destroy our government, politics, and city streets, social justice warriors--in the form of radical group Black Lives Matter--have taken aim at our most fun and fundamental institutions. It seems that these activists hate everything that makes up the American way of life, including our past times.
Because of the toxic influence of hypocritical figures like Colin Kaepernick--a man who criticizes America, while being paid millions to throw a ball--this year's NFL season has been riddled with controversy. Because this second-string quarterback made news for refusing to stand during the National Anthem, then doubling down by attacking the U.S., other athletes have followed his example by insulting our flag and country.
This has caused no small riot among fans. You see, the vast majority of football fans--of sports fan in general--are white male conservatives. Professional sports was the last bastion for them; the one thing not tainted by feminism, liberals, or math. But because of the irresponsible behavior of Kaepernick and others, they have to watch rich, entitled athletes get paid to insult the United States before every game.
You think these fans are just going to sit there and take it? Hell no.
With a 9.0/15 rating in metered-market results, the Houston Texans’ 26-23 overtime over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday was not only a season low for SNF but the worst the NFL powerhouse series has done in nearly five years...
Compared to the previous SNF season low with last week’s Giants-Packers game, last night’s Texans-Colts matchup was down 12% in MM ratings. The October 9 SNF went on to grab a 5.9/16 rating among adults 18-49 with 16.62 million watching — an expected double-digit drop from the week before... (via Breitbart).
There's no denying it. The NFL is suffering a serious ratings drop. Content that cannot be matched anywhere else. Content that is beloved by millions of Americans, is suffering its worst ratings in years. It's not just because a few of the games were on at the same time as the debates, this is happening with every game.
The NFL refuses to acknowledge this is largely due to the Kaepernick controversy. When it first made news, fans were quick to express outrage. They called out athletes, coaches, and league managers for allowing it to happen. There were reports that even team owners were outraged by Kaepernick's antics, stating (anonymously) that they would never accept him on their teams.
So it would come as no surprise that many viewers are turning off the games. Why would you spend your time or money on a sport that allows its players to insult the very country that allows them to play it?
But the NFL, terrified of social justice activists and the media, says concerning the protests, "It sees no evidence to that being a factor in declining ratings: ‘In fact, our own data shows that the perception of the NFL and its players is actually up in 2016.'”
But the evidence speaks against them:
However, one narrative the NFL can’t control and distort to their own liking is polling. According to Quinnipiac, 54% of Americans disapprove of Kaepernick’s protests. Among whites, that number climbs to 63%. (Breitbart).
You could speculate that this was the left's plan all along. We've heard for years from militant feminists and other limp-wristed hippies that football is barbaric and treats female cheerleaders like sex objects, and so on. They can't understand the appeal of sportsmanship, fair play, and camaraderie of men, so they attack it on baseless grounds. Kaepernick, a man-child who is easily manipulated, can very well be a pawn in a larger scheme to destroy this American institution.
But that's wild speculation. Surely the left isn't so nefarious that it would destroy a major industry and deal a sharp blow our economy. But in an age as unpredictable as this one, when clowns are attacking pregnant women and schools, we are only left with wild speculation and conspiracy theories.
When an overpaid, self-absorbed, and by all accounts ignorant quarterback can single-handedly destroy an age-old institution like football, what else can we say? We are living in an age where the villains are being treated as heroes and good, honest Americans have no choice but to turn away.
The real solution is for the NFL to nut up and put a stop to these "protests." They need to make it clear to the fans that they are, above all else, proud Americans who respect our country and the National Anthem. They need to fine any athlete who refuses to stand while the anthem is being played, just like they fine athletes for any other form of disorderly conduct.
Athletes who continue to express divisive and destructive behavior and rhetoric on or off the field should be faced with serious repercussions. They can hide behind free speech all they want; it won't stop the NFL from protecting its freedom to hold its players accountable.
But will the NFL take such necessary and common sense measures? Probably not. The ratings will continue to drop, like all other TV content, until the NFL is forced to take drastic measures to recoup its losses. Ticket prices will soar, as will the price of merch. Those tasty NFL cable packages will become too expensive for many to afford, pushing out even more fans.
In the end, all the NFL will do is drive people away.