Unfortunately, screwing up in the face of major controversies is very on brand for the NFL.
Jones’ comments come a couple of weeks after President Donald Trump said at a rally in Alabama that NFL owners who see players disrespecting the flag should say get that son of a bitch off the field right now, he’s fired.
Trump’s comments led to many demonstrations prior to games during Week 3, some in protest of inequality and oppression against people of color, some in unity, and some in which players didn’t come out for the anthem at all.
Hopefully, they read it all the way through. The data reveals that a rapid change in customer approval like the one the NFL is experiencing can be fleeting.
Remember when United Airlines violently dragged the guy off one of its planes because they needed the seat for a United employee? Almost everyone, whatever their party affiliation, had a negative view of the company after that. Six months later, United’s approval rating is just about what it was before the incident.
It takes years of conditioning to completely quit on a brand. And as the Rams have proven, it’s even harder to just suddenly stop being a fan.
All the NFL has to do here is not overreach. Don’t screw up by making a panicked move under toothless presidential pressure that will end up pissing even more people off and giving fans more reason to disapprove of the product.
It’s not about the physical act, no. The key to being an excellent NFL kicker is having the ability to shut down the voice in your head, to lie to yourself, to convince your body not to shake in the immensity of the moment and, with it all on the line, to clear your head to a state of rhapsodic blankness and do.