Sports and politics continue to combine, whether or not audiences prefer it.
And how’s NFL kneeling looking lately?
Has players taking a knee during the National Anthem boosted the league’s fan fervor?
According to football legend Brett Favre — who retired a decade ago — politics-plus-pigskin may not have proved the perfect recipe.
To hear the Greenbay Packer tell it, people might just want to watch players play.
These days, there’s politics all over:
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Evidently — at least where football’s concerned — the former quarterback believes over-penetration’s in need of a penalty.
“I think both sides, for the most part, want to see it just remain about the sport. Not about politics.”
Such certainly goes for Favre:
“I know when I turn on a game, I want to watch a game. I want to watch players play and teams win, lose, come from behind. I want to watch, you know, all the important parts of the game, not what’s going on outside of the game. And I think the general fan feels the same way.”
Per the Hall of Famer, it seems, what once was a societal glue is now a laxative:
“I guess the jury is out on whether it will be a good thing or not. I think it’s created more turmoil than good. But…something has to unite us. And the games or sport in the past have been a unification. Now it’s almost like a division.”
Case in point: Major League Baseball recently pulled its All-Star Game out of Georgia over a voter ID bill.
Fast-forward to a favorability fail:
MLB’s favorability rating dropped from 47 to 12 among Republican fans after moving the Atlanta all star game. And they gained no Democratic fan support. That’s catastrophic decision making by commissioner Rob Manfred. He lit the league brand on fire. https://t.co/PI4JO4KQuL
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) April 16, 2021
As for the tune of sports+politics being a turd, it’s not Brett’s first time to whistle.
At a town hall with President Trump last October, he offered the following:
“The NBA and the NFL are struggling with lower ratings, as fans clearly do not want political messaging mixed with their sports.”
It’s not a hard sell.
The point of professional sports, it seems, is to offer the audience an escape from the complexities of life. It’s a return to childhood.
No one wants to reminisce about their elementary school years of passing legislation or discerning how to whip the world into shape.
Folks running around in the grass and tossing a ball is something to which most everyone can relate.
It sparks fond memories of a simpler time.
Brett told Andrew he’s gotten feedback supporting his point of view:
“I can’t tell you how many people have said to me, ‘I don’t want to watch anymore, it’s not about the game anymore.’ And I tend to agree.”
Mid-interview, the star recalled what the locker room was like back in his day:
“We were in something together. We fought together. We won together, we lost together. We truly were a family.”
That sounds like how something else used to be, too…
What was that team called again?
Oh, yeah — America.
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