U.S. Olympic leaders will now allow players to kneel, raise a fist in protest while receiving medals

USA-  For the first time ever, US Olympic leaders will no longer punish American athletes who decide that they need to kneel or raise a fist in protest of the United States while receiving medals. 

The Olympics used to be a place of high decorum and professionalism.  Those who were skilled enough to win must show pride for the country and not show any form of dissent, in other words, be proud of your nation, and be a symbol of it.

However, in today’s world, that no longer applies.

It seems that US Olympic leaders are following the example given by the NFL and the NBA who allow their players to kneel and, in other ways, protest the country and the police who keep them safe. 

Susanne Lyons, the President of the US Olympic & Paralympic Committee said:

“We believe that Team USA athletes, in line with many other sports and leagues in the United States, can be a leading force for global good.”

The US Olympic Leaders were forced to look into the issue after the 2019 Pan American Games in Peru.  At that event, fencer Race Imboden and hammer thrower Gwen Berry conducted separate protests at the podium. 

Both were initially placed on probation for their actions, however, that was removed after the US Olympic leadership backed down under pressure.

A group was formed, called the Council on Racial and Social Justice, which states that all forms of ‘peaceful protests’ should be allowed.  The group’s Chairwoman, Moushaumi Robinson, said:

“The council believes the diversity of Team USA athletes is our strength, and that this recommendation can be a catalyst for change.”

Regardless of what the United States concedes to, and allows, it is doubtful that the International Olympics Committee will accept any form of protest. 

The IOC has a rule, 50, which strictly prohibits any form of protest, regardless of the reason.  It states:

“No kind of demonstration or political, religious, or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas.”

And for good measure, the IOC issued a supplement to that rule earlier in the year which bans kneeling or otherwise failing to adhere to strict protocol during medal ceremonies.  The supplemental rules also prohibit signs, armbands, and hand gestures.

While it does not seem likely that the IOC will budge on their stance, there are some that believe that they should. 

Federation President Sebastian Coe, who is a member of the IOC, felt that the athletes should be able to protest whatever they like as long as it is done respectfully.  He said:

“Look, I support the right of athletes to be a part of the world they live in and I don’t think we can have it both ways. 

“Supporting the athletes if they choose to reflect in that way, at a Games or in and around a podium, as long as they do it respectfully…I’m not going to get sleepless nights over that.”

If the IOC allows US athletes to peacefully protest, then the IOC must allow other countries to do the same.  How could the IOC ensure that everyone, regardless of country and alliances, acts peacefully and without ill intent?

Countries like Iran who are enemies of Israel could use the moment to stage some type of protest that they may claim is peaceful, but really sparks some sort of outrage.  How would the IOC handle that type of situation?

Would they need to create yet another committee to formulate what protests are acceptable and when they may be used?  And if so, how will they regulate and enforce those rules for those that break them?

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Get woke, go broke – advertisers grow concerned as NFL ratings continue to crash

December 16, 2020

TAMPA, FL – There was a time when Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots drew massive television viewership, especially if they were playing on a Thursday, Sunday, or Monday night – and most especially when the game signaled a Super Bowl rematch between them and the Los Angeles Rams.

That time, and Tom Brady’s time in New England, have passed.  It is doubtful that Brady’s presence now in Tampa Bay is the primary cause for the ratings decline.

In fact, that game in the NFL season’s week 14 where the Rams smoked the Patriots showed 13.64 million viewers – a 24% decline from last season’s Thursday night football average.

During the same week, Fox’s huge double-header game series that is popular on Sundays has seen a 20% decline in viewers just since last year.

The Week 14 ratings come as a rude reversal for league executives, who had hoped that strong Thanksgiving week ratings would herald a turnaround in the NFL’s suddenly dwindling television fortunes. Speaking of fortunes, much is on the line with the league’s television ratings for this year in particular.

Front Office Sports’ Michael McCarthy reports:

“The stakes are high. All of the league’s media deals expire after the 2021 and 2022 seasons. There are potentially billions of dollars at stake as the NFL tries to nearly double its $5 billion annual rights fees from media partners ESPN, CBS, NBC, and Fox.

“After growing 5% in each of the past two seasons, some TV executives worry the NFL’s 7% drop through the halfway point of 2020 augurs a return to the 2016 and 2017 seasons — when average audiences fell 8% and 10%, respectively.”

If the league doesn’t turn the numbers around soon, the NFL could lose bargaining power when negotiating with network executives and, of course, they could lose billions of dollars.

And speaking of billions of dollars … with NFL ratings flailing, advertisers are finally getting upset that fewer and fewer TV viewers are seeing their ads.

The ratings this year are so bad that the NFL is now scrambling to offer “make-goods” to advertisers who spent vast sums of cash to appear on TV during games but are now finding that the numbers are not what they were promised when they bought their ad time.

A spokesperson for NBC Sports told the Wall Street Journal:

“We’ve worked with every one of our partners individually to find what works best for them.  We will have delivery solutions for all of our NFL advertisers this season.”

Gibbs Haljun, investment lead at WPP PLC ad-buying firm Mindshare, told the Wall Street Journal:

“Even as surefire as the NFL has been — and the last couple years, NFL ratings stood up much better than network prime-time ratings — we are now in a situation where the NFL is declining.”

The elephant in the room is the fact that sports fans don’t like the angle the NFL has taken with large social justice issues – such as Colin Kaepernick and many others kneeling for the National Anthem, a lack of respect for police, and printed messages supporting Black Lives Matters and other groups on helmets and jerseys. 

Many sports fans have just turned off their TVs and have taken to playing fantasy football, relying on stats – and not player statements and actions – to enjoy their football fulfillment.

Earlier this football season, CBS Sports took a strong stance on announcers and sportscasters voicing social justice-related opinions:

“They’re certainly allowed to talk about what is happening on the field, whether it’s the National Anthem or something else with a name or a phrase on a player’s jersey or on his shoes.

“They’re free to talk about that, but we’re gonna do so objectively. They’re not going to interject their opinion or their philosophy. They’re there to cover the game. But if something else happens to be part of the story, they’re going to tell that story.”

Football fans all over the country surely don’t agree on who the best team is, but they agree that the league has strongly harmed itself by caving to social justice warriors.  It will surely be a long time before the NFL can recover – if ever.

In fact, this year’s Super Bowl halftime show is going fully woke.

Recording artist and social justice warrior Jay-Z stated about the singer, The Weeknd, headlining the show this year:

“The Weeknd has introduced a sound all his own. His soulful uniqueness has defined a new generation of greatness in music and artistry.

“This is an extraordinary moment in time and the Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show is going to be an extraordinary experience with an extraordinary performer.”

Canadian star The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, is a strong BLM supporter and donated more than $500,000 to organizations aligned with the George Floyd protests.

The Weeknd called out every major music recording label in our country this past summer, essentially demanding that they donate to BLM and other groups.  He posted on Instagram:

“To my fellow respected industry partners and execs – no one profits off of black music more than the labels and streaming services.

“I gave yesterday and I urge you to go big and public with yours this week. It would mean the world to me and the community if you can join us on this.”

The Super Bowl, of course, is an advertising gold mine for companies hawking their products – so much so that TV specials have been produced consisting of the blockbuster, multimillion-dollar commercials that air during the game and at halftime.

We shall see if the “get woke, go broke” notion extends to the Super Bowl as well. 

In an article titled “Booking The Weeknd for the Super Bowl is latest sign of NFL’s demise,” Phil Mushnick of the New York Post expressed an opinion that is likely held by many football fans:

“It’s all so stunningly stupid, so backward. At a time when decent-minded folks are abandoning the NFL because they can no longer indulge the increasingly anti-social and even criminal behavior of players, the NFL keeps flooring it in reverse.”

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Author: Chris Elliot

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