Today on CNBC Squawk Alley, the cohost Carl Quintanilla interviewing the commissioner of the NFL, Roger Goodell, about all of the wonderful social justice initiatives that are being implemented this year in the National Football League, and cohost Carl Quintanilla said, “Are you prepared for ratings to be different in either direction as a result of all of this?”
GOODELL: Ratings always go up and down, for a variety of reasons. We’re supporting our players. We look behind the ratings number, we always have. We don’t look at it as a straight line, up and down, we look at this as an opportunity to grow our audience with different segments of the population to make sure that we’re reaching more people on more platforms.
RUSH: Can I translate that for you? We know we are in deep doo-doo. We know that we have angered a large segment of the traditional National Football League audience, and we know that we’re gonna anger them further because we have publicly come out in support of kneeling and opposing the American flag. We know that this is going to anger people, our traditional NFL audience, but we’re gonna listen to our players this year. We’re gonna take the lead from our players. So we’re gonna need – it’s not so much want — we’re gonna need a new audience. ‘Cause we’re not sure that the people that have watched for years are going to be as willing to watch this year.
Look. And this is all true. You have the commissioner. You have a number of owners. No, no, not owners, maybe a couple. But a lot of head coaches have said, “If my players go out there and kneel during the anthem, I’m gonna lead them. I’m gonna be kneeling before they get down. I’m gonna be on a knee before they get there.” Coaches are doing everything they can to keep their players unified and cemented as a unit no matter what.
So if the players want to protest the flag, if the players want to kneel, if the players want to wear some of these social justice signs, slogans and stuff on helmets, the coaches are gonna be right in there. And they know this is gonna anger the traditional NFL audience, which is a patriotic bunch. Why do you think before so many NFL games for years the United States military has had a presence?
Now, we learned, by the way, the military was buying those avails, which is fine. I don’t care. You can argue about whether or not the military was appropriately spending money. But it is PR, and it is recruitment. But they were featured in practically every NFL stadium numerous times a year, gigantic flag covering the field. The colors would be presented. You’d have uniformed military personnel singing the national anthem, God Bless America. Very, very patriotic display.
And the left would be gnashing their teeth during all of it. Do you remember why? Because of a Harvard survey which showed that the flag, just like on the Fourth of July, tended to make people more likely to vote Republican. And so the left has been doing everything they can to limit the presence of patriotic displays at American sporting events, primarily the National Football League. And hell, they’ve succeeded, have they not? There aren’t going to be nearly as many. The NFL is not gonna sell the time to the military, the military is not gonna buying as much.
Whatever patriotic moments there are during the playing or singing of the national anthem, there will be kneeling all over the place, there will be protests all over the place, and Goodell is acknowledging that we can’t stop the players, we don’t even want to stop ’em, so we’re gonna need a new audience. So what are they gonna be depending on? Depending on Black Lives Matter to be tuning in on Sundays and Mondays and Thursday, gonna be depending on Antifa? What are they gonna be depending on, white educated suburban women to become the new NFL audience because that’s who’s largely present at all of these protests?
It’s amazing. But it is college educated white women who have really been converted into marching, walking hatemongers who believe in all of this nonsense about white supremacy and white privilege and they’ve been ladled with guilt, and they feel it. So the commissioner knows they’re gonna have to grow their audience to entirely new segments. So they are admitting that what they’re gonna do is anger the traditional NFL audience.