BOOM: NFL Gets MORE Bad News As Players Continue to Kneel

BOOM: NFL Gets MORE Bad News As Players Continue to Kneel

First, the fans noticed that the seats were empty. It was hard not to with row after row of vacant seats. Then, the official ratings dropped and ESPN and Fox Sports were in a panic, blaming the popularity of college football for the decline in their viewership. They placed the blame there when they knew darn well it was the kneeling during the National Anthem that was really tanking the NFL.

And now it’s the merchandising that’s gone sour. The bread and butter of many retailers affiliated with and supporting the NFL.

As reported in the Sports Business Journal, sales for NFL branded merchandise has dropped by at least 20% since 2009. While different reasons have been proposed by a slew of people, many licensed resellers and retired football players and announcers like Vin Scully feel comfortable enough in their positions to say that all support is down due to the anthem protests. Team ProMark is a service that produces branded merchandise for license holders, from bumper stickers to wearable items. The owner of the service, Bill Skinner, said:

“My NFL business has been struggling. As a veteran, I’m bothered by the national anthem protests, so I’ve watched much less NFL.”

But he added that “brick-and-mortar retail is a mess.” He also stated that third parties used to sell his items online, but they have been “largely eliminated by the NFL” and that for most of his customers, their licenses to sell NFL pieces are their “most important license.” That may not be the case much longer after all this nonsense. And if a retailer is bothered by the protests and is watching way less football, imagine how Americans in general feel and how they are turning their backs on the league. The NFL owns this.

Now, we just have to see whether or not the holiday Christmas season will turn things around for these sellers. I wouldn’t count on it.

Recently, Papa John’s blamed the anthem protests for the downturn in sales of their products that are advertised during NFL games, even though social media users said that sales are down because the pizza is gross. I’m sure it’s a combination of both things.

In September, we wrote about the Steel City Sports store, located in the Rockvale Outlets that specialize in selling merchandise from all of the Pittsburgh teams, including the Pirates, the Penns and branded items from the local University. The store’s owner Susan Moedinger spoke to media when the anthem protests first started to hit her livelihood. On a Monday morning following a Sunday game where the entire Steelers team (except for army veteran Alejandro Villanueva) stayed in their locker room during the anthem, Susan was called up by one of her employees who had opened the store. The staffer said that people were calling in with threats and concerns, and she asked for help in handling their responses. Susan said that she wasn’t “terribly political” and that the threats were mostly long time customers saying they will no longer shop at Steel City Sports if they continue to offer Steelers merchandise.

There was further controversy when it was perceived that Susan was hiding Villanueva jerseys from the displays and she and her store were labeled “un-American.” Villanueva jerseys had briefly turned into one of the top-selling items in the NFL and only days later he apologized for embarrassing his team in what seemed like a forced apology from an honest man who just wanted to salute the flag under which he served several tours in Afghanistan as an Army Ranger.

Steel City Sports is certainly not the only sports retailer affected by all this and it will only get worse. Right now, the NFL is offering $100 million to social justice causes to placate their players… they are bribing them and Americans see that. Viewership is going to get worse and worse as Goodell takes the league right down the drain over all this. The NFL hasn’t gotten its fill of bad news evidently and they are doubling down on radical activism instead of football. While they are doing that, they are killing these small businesses that promote them. Just how stupid can you get? Evidently it’s not just a phase for the NFL… they are deeply stupid… and they just keep on kneeling.

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton is an editor and writer for Right Wing News. She owns and blogs at She is a Constitutional Conservative and NoisyRoom focuses on political and national issues of interest to the American public. Terresa is the editor at Trevor Loudon's site, New Zeal - She also does research at You can email Terresa here. NoisyRoom can be found on Facebook and on Twitter.

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