Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Labor Policies, Social Justice Warfare, And The Ongoing Demise Of The NFL

     Theodore “Vox Day” Beale presents the statistics:

     Average viewership per game.
  • 2015: 17.9 million
  • 2016: 16.5 million
  • 2017: 14.9 million

     That is a 16.8% viewership decline in two years.

     Those figures shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s aware of the Colin Kaepernick-initiated “protests” that have recently beleaguered the NFL. Americans are sick and tired of “protests” from wealthy entertainers, of “social justice” idiocy (and the associated idiots), and of the cowardice of so many persons in positions of authority, whether public or private, before black entitlement syndrome.

     There is a solution, of course: a change in labor policies. The franchise owners of the NFL have long made their hiring decisions on a single consideration: athletic ability. It’s likely that until the Kaepernick caper, none of them imagined that there might be associated costs. The loss of viewership and the endangering of their lucrative television contracts should be a sufficient wake-up call...but perhaps not.

     There’s an important truth here: the sort of “Duh!” truth that “should” be “obvious.” And I’d bet the mortgage money that it will be on the tips of my Gentle Readers’ tongues before I express it in pixels.

     Herewith, a brief fantasy conversation:

     Lesean Jones puzzled over the contract for less than a minute before shrugging and surrendering it to Allard Boyce, his agent. Boyce scanned it, did a double take, and reared back in shock, his outrage-widened eyes fixed on Vegas Thunderstorm owner Gerry Grant.
     “You can’t be serious!”
     Grant smiled. “But I am.”
     “This binds Lesean tighter than an antebellum slave!”
     The smile was undiminished. “Not quite. There’s no amputation clause.”
     Boyce shoved the contract at Grant and rose. “Completely unacceptable.”
     Grant nodded. “Enjoy stocking supermarket shelves, Lesean.”
     The wide receiver rose from his seat and loomed menacingly over the Thunderstorm owner. “You itchin’ for a bitch-slappin’, cauc?”
     A large, uniformed figure surged out of the shadows behind Jones, took him by the shoulders, and rammed him back into his seat.
     The astonished athlete looked up into a face blacker than his own, attached to a body that made his look like a twig. The guard’s right hip bore a holster. The holster contained a Glock 17.
     Grant murmured thanks to the guard, who retreated to his previous position. “This is the NFL standard now. Any of the other teams would present you with the same terms of employment. One step out of line, one word I don’t like, on the field or off, and you’ll be fired. More, you’ll be blacklisted. No other team will be permitted to hire you. No arbitration and no appeal.”
     Jones turned to Boyce. “This ain’t right.”
     Boyce’s eyes remained fixed on Grant. “The entire league agreed to this?”
     Grant nodded. “It was a unanimous vote. Any team that’s found to deviate from its terms will lose its franchise without compensation.”
     “This can’t be in line with the labor laws!” Boyce protested.
     “I think you’ll find that it is,” Grant replied. He smirked. “I was part of the drafting committee. In fact, the language about ‘highest standards of personal decorum in all circumstances, whether public or private,’ is mine. If you need the specifics, they’re in attachment A.”
     “The league took a beating these past couple of years for the lack of requirements like these,” Grant said. “We’re not stupid. We could connect cause to effect. And we’ve decided that cut-ups and unpatriotic scum just aren’t worth it, no matter how well they block, tackle, run, pass, or catch. People just don’t want to be entertained by human garbage. So the social-justice virtue-signaling parade is over. So are any other behaviors that reflect badly on our league or our sport. Either little Lesean here will learn to behave the way decent people do, at all times, or he won’t play pro football.”
     The Thunderstorm owner rose and stretched. “I know you won’t believe it until you’ve tested the waters with at least one other team, so go ahead. I don’t recommend the Condors, though. Their owner just fired two-thirds of his veterans for refusing to agree to the new standards. He won’t look kindly upon an untested twenty year old punk who thinks he deserves to be an exception. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have four other candidates to interview.”

     That’s the way it will have to be for pro football, or any pro sport, to command the kind of television sponsorship and viewership that would support contemporary pro-athlete salaries. Up to now MLB baseball and NHL hockey have been almost completely free of the social-justice / virtue-signaling BS that’s ruined the NFL. (I don’t follow the NBA, so I have no idea what conditions are like in that sport.) But should the Kaepernick virus infect them, they’ll need to make the same changes.

     Franchise owners and the leagues want profits. They don’t want costs. But they can’t have the one without the other unless they agree unanimously on standards of conduct that bind players, coaches, and support personnel at all times and under all conditions.

     It remains to be seen whether the NFL’s franchise owners can steel themselves to the necessity. Just now, I’d say it’s unlikely...but without exactly what I’ve imagined in the segment above, the league will continue its down-spiral into the darkness.

     I can’t close this essay without a final observation. The NFL didn’t have any of its current public-relations problems when it hired only white players. Go ahead, call me a racist. I’ve come to enjoy it.

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