The costly backlash of kneeling
By: Lauren Benkowski
The national anthem has always been a tradition and always will be to stand before the starting of every game to show respect for those who have served for us. However, a former quarterback of San Francisco 49ers, and now a free agent, Colin Kaepernick changed the mind of his and others on the meaning of the flag, all because of police brutality against African Americans. One action that made a culture war outburst that is now hurting the NFL immensely. Resulting in bringing politics to the NFL, it has reduced revenue in the restaurant industry in and around the stadium, merchandise stores, hotels and the tickets sales in the cities of where the stadiums stands. After, Donald Trump tweeted out, “If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our flag and country, you will see change take place fast. Fire or Suspend!”, people took this into consideration and stopped showing at their teams games.
Recently, Papa Johns, the official pizza company of the NFL, excluded their commercials from all NFL games on TV and lost monumental profit because since they promote the NFL, many fans thought that they were also promoting the kneeling which caused the demand in pizzas to decline and the supply to be even lower. Darren Rovell stated, “Papa John’s stock was down 8.5 percent”. That goes a long way when your considered the most recognized sponsor associated with the NFL for two years running. It’s a lose-lose situation when you don’t feature your product on a very popular channel and loose money but also, if you did feature it and people think your promoting the kneeling, they still won’t buy your product. Since the supply and demand took a poll, you won’t need as many employees to make the pizzas and even deliver them which creates a domino effect that affects other companies when one can’t afford any products because they are unemployed. Because Papa Johns took a course of action by taking their commercials off, their opportunity cost is that now people won’t think that they are supporting the kneeling as much. However, now that they aren’t receiving the demand they usually do, other pizza companies like: Pizza Hut, Little Caesar, Papa Murphy's, Dominos etc. will have a incline of demand which will also create business competition. The marginal cost of other pizza companies is going up because of the decline of Papa John’s product.
The NFL rating as a whole shows how much people have boycotted from watching any games from it decreasing five percent and going from 15.87 million viewers last season to 15.1 million viewers this season. According to Nielsen Data, “NBC is down 4%, CBS is down 6%, ABC is down 11% and Fox’s prime time viewership dropped 20% through the first month of new TV season”. With the decline of rating on each network, the network could lower the contract the NFL financially. For example, if a network contact was 5 billion dollars and it lowered to 4.5 billion this could affect the players in the long run when their contracts are up because of the NFL’s salary cap.
And this is what happens when politics come into play. A never ending heartbreak.
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“Papa John's Blames NFL Protests for Declining Sales.” PEOPLE.com, people.com/food/papa-johns-nfl-protest-low-sales/.Rovell, Darren. “Papa John's Says Anthem Protests Are Hurting Deal with NFL.” ESPN, ESPN Internet Ventures, 1 Nov. 2017, www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/21250448/nfl-sponsor-papa-john-not-happy-anthem-protests.