An Open letter to Roger Goodell from a Former NFL Fan
To Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner:
I think our culture is losing its mind. In your interview with Matt Lauer, you stated:
“Listen, I support our players speaking out on issues that they think need to be changed in our society. We don’t live in a perfect society, Matt. Our players have strong views about things. So I support our players speaking out against that. But that’s what the focus should be on, the changes he wants to see in our society.”
As commissioner of the NFL, are you really this clueless? I am not sure I am really here right now, but I just want to point out an egregiously obvious reality that is somehow being missed…
…the fans pay your salary. The fans pay for the stadiums. The fans pay the coaches and the trainers. The fans pay the players VERY well. Most fans pay the players more money than they themselves will ever see in their entire lifetimes. And that would be for only one year.
So, you say, “I support our players speaking out on issues…” Um, excuse me; you need to support the fans that pay everybody with their hard-earned money. Have you lost your mind? Consumerism pays the bills for the NFL, not you. Get a grip.
Let me explain a word to you; it’s the word, “venue.” According to the MacMillan dictionary, “The place where an activity or event happens.” And, the activity serves the people who pay the bills and in this case for e-n-t-e-r-t-a-i-n-m-e-n-t.
You see, there is a reason the fans pay to be at a stadium instead of being at home watching Fox News or CNN. NFL TV/Cable royalties come from people tuning in to watch football, not Wolf Blitzer. Let me put it in another context because apparently, this is really complicated. When I go to the Olive Garden restaurant with my wife, I do not expect political commentary from the waiter or waitress. I am paying for a meal, not political commentary—especially political commentary I might disagree with. I am going there to pay for a meal, not political debate.
Furthermore, when someone pays for something specific and gets ambushed with something else, that is a breach of trust and contract. Whatever these self-important individuals want to do on their own time is their own business. If Kaepernick wants to donate money to BLM and participate in their marches etc., more power to him—it’s a free country and that is the proper venue for such. But he doesn’t have the freedom to participate in a breach of contract and still get paid for it. The fans come expecting football, and get ambushed with political commentary.
Why is that ok?
And why is it ok to accuse paying fans of being, for all practical purposes, “good Germans,” and what makes Kaepernick the conscience of a nation? We don’t pay him to be our conscience, we pay him to play football. Because something is wrong with America he doesn’t stand up. Why can’t he do what he is paid to do and stand up because something is right with America? By default, he is accusing paying fans of deliberately ignoring the fact that America isn’t perfect, and deems it his calling to confront them about it in a venue paid for by them.
Why then will he not be a real idealist and simply boycott the venue? Ah, because then he wouldn’t be paid what amounts to the GNP of some countries. Mr. Goodell, why are you allowing yourself to be manipulated by these self-important ideologues?
After watching college football on Saturday I tuned into some Sunday football for the first time this year. It really struck me; it’s just not fun anymore. I watch football to have some fun, some relaxation to balance out the duties I partake in throughout the rest of the week. And, indeed, it is a duty to be politically informed and stand for what is right. But, that is not what defines a life in totality; life is NOT 100% duty. That’s not how we are wired. When the average Joe partakes in entertainment and rest, he does so for purposes of a balanced life.
So, I ask you, what gives these guys the right to invade our respite time with their sanctimonious attitudes? See, when they are done breaching their contract with us and lecturing us about what cowards we are, and accusing us of putting no value on black lives, they go back to their $2,000,000 homes, trophy girlfriends, and fine dining where waiters and waitresses do the job they pay for…with our money.
But don’t make any changes for my sake, I am done with the NFL, it’s just not fun anymore. It is now duty just like everything else in my life while being judged by people who don’t even know me. IF, for example, I am a Donald Trump supporter, I fully expect that I might be called a “deplorable” when I tune into CNN to be informed. Fair enough, that’s the venue. That comes with doing our duty to be informed. But, when I tune into a football game, I don’t expect to be told that everyone who stands for the National Anthem has their head in the sand…that’s just not fun. When I tune in to watch football players play, and instead they tell me they care about people and I don’t because I stand for the National Anthem…that’s just no fun.
I am still a college football fan. Saturday night, I watched the OSU/Oklahoma game. That was a bunch of fun. I got what I expected in that venue.
The NFL is no longer any fun…it’s just more duty, and man does not live by duty alone.