Despite the NFL’s declining popularity over its left-leaning positions, the league continues to support the highly unpopular National Anthem protests and social-justice causes taken up by its players. Most recently, the NFL has agreed to fund left-wing advocacy groups deemed important to players, including the Dream Corps, a leftist advocacy group connected to globalist billionaire George Soros. But if the league thought this concession would put an end to the National Anthem protests and bring back angry fans, it was sorely mistaken.
Last week, the NFL reached an agreement with the Players Coalition — a group created in 2016 in response to perceived institutional bias within law enforcement and consisting of both current and former NFL athletes — to pay $73 million over the next seven years to various groups supported by the Coalition. Of that amount, 25 percent has been allocated to the United Negro College Fund, another 25 percent has been earmarked to Dream Corps, and the remaining 50 percent would be controlled by the Players Coalition.
The Washington Times reports that Dream Corps is led by President Obama’s former adviser Van Jones, a self-proclaimed communist. Among the items on the advocacy group’s agenda is support for the Clean Power Plan and open borders.
The Times writes, “Mr. Soros’ fingerprints can also be found on the Dream Corps, which merged in 2014 with Green for All, an environmental group founded by Mr. Jones in 2007 whose funders included Open Society [Soros] as well as former Vice President Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection, according to Discover the Networks.”
The deal does not have the support of all the members of the Players Coalition, however, as some have stated that it has diverted funds away from the league’s other major charitable endeavors such as Breast Cancer Awareness and Salute to Service.
And yet for far-left NFL players, the agreement did not go far enough, the Washington Post reports. San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid, Miami Dolphins safety Michael Thomas, and Los Angeles Chargers offensive tackle Russell Okung all withdrew from the Players Coalition in opposition to the deal.
“The NFL continues a disingenuous approach to player grievances, refusing to match the urgency of this moment. Their proposal is woefully inadequate,” Okung wrote in a statement posted to his Twitter account.
Meanwhile, critics of the NFL see the league’s decision to distribute funds to unpopular leftist causes as a clear signal that the NFL has taken a side.
“If this is how the NFL plans to bring back the millions of Americans who are fed up with the players’ antics and anthem protests, then the league just fumbled the ball,” said Robert Kuykendall, a spokesman for 2ndVote, a conservative corporate watchdog group.
“Why would any conservative spend another dollar supporting the NFL if that dollar will be directly funneled to left-wing activists like Van Jones?” he asked.
According to the Washington Post‚ many NFL team owners had hoped that the agreement would have persuaded protesters to voluntarily stand for the National Anthem. But despite the NFL’s concession to the Left, its athletes have no intention of discontinuing their public protests, despite the effects they have had on the league’s ratings.
“There’s nothing in here about a mandate for players to cease exercising their right to protest,” Eagles defensive end Chris Long wrote last week on Twitter. “I wouldn’t associate myself if there were.”
“This initiative between the NFL, owners and Players Coalition does not mandate an end to any player demonstrations,” Coalition members Malcolm Jenkins (Philadelphia Eagles safety) and Anquan Boldin (former NFL wide receiver) said in a written statement posted to each of their Twitter accounts last week. “It[‘]s always been about the issues; strengthening the criminal justice system and fight for racial and social equality.”
It is likely the NFL will continue to struggle with plummeting ratings as long as it chooses to remain political. Compared to the first six weeks of the 2015 season, NFL ratings are off by 18.7 percent, according to ESPN, and most contend the declining ratings are a direct result of the increasing politicization of the league. A September survey from the Remington Research group found that 64 percent of NFL fans wanted the players to stand for the National Anthem, and of the 51 percent who watched less football this season, 69 percent cited the protests as the reason. Sixty percent surveyed said that players should find another forum at which to protest.
The NFL’s support for the protests has been particularly problematic given its firm stance against other, less-controversial demonstrations. For example, the league prohibited one player from wearing patriotic cleats in memory of 9/11 and also prevented Dallas Cowboys players from placing an “Arm in Arm” decal on their helmets to honor the five police officers killed in Dallas last year.
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