Friday afternoon, President Donald Trump tweeted his disapproval of Drew Brees taking back his comments earlier in the week:
…We should be standing up straight and tall, ideally with a salute, or a hand on heart. There are other things you can protest, but not our Great American Flag – NO KNEELING!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2020
This situation is almost the worst-case scenario for the NFL. Shades of 2016 are looming. It was the NFL’s ugliest year in decades when its ratings dropped and the kneeling controversy ran wild. The NFL is already scheduled to face an equally polarizing election this season and kneeling could follow.
Earlier today, Jason Whitlock told Outkick he expects athletes to kneel once sports resume. “I expect athletes to lean into public gestures. Social media will demand that they do and they will follow orders,” Whitlock explained.
In May 2018, Clay Travis explained the ramifications of mixing politics and sports have:
“So why is the NFL down? And why, in particular, after years of increasing ratings, did the NFL’s ratings abruptly begin a precipitous decline at the exact moment that Colin Kaepernick began his protest? I understand there are many who still disagree with me, but I believe the vast majority of the reason the NFL’s audience has declined is because the vast majority of NFL fans want to watch football without politics.
I believe there are tens of millions of sports fans in this country who have stopped watching as much NFL as they used to over the protest.”
This story isn’t going away.