NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell used an appearance at a fan forum organized by the Arizona Cardinals, to plead for fans to have “understanding” when it comes to NFL protestors and their “different viewpoints.”
According to Mike Jurecki of 98.7 in Arizona, Goodell said, “We have to understand there are people with different viewpoints. The national anthem is a special moment to me. It’s a point of pride. That is a really important moment. But we also have to understand the other side. People do have rights and we want to respect those.”
While Goodell might want fans to be understanding of protesting players, fans might not be quite so understanding. According to a recent J.D. Power survey, a majority of respondents who had reported watching less football, listed last year’s anthem protest as the chief reason why they stopped watching the game.
Nor has Colin Kaepernick’s absence from the league, led to an absence of protesting. The Seahawks Michael Bennett and the Raiders Marshawn Lynch both sat on the bench in protest during week one of the preseason. With NFL anthem protesting continuing, and a pro-Kaepernick rally scheduled to take place in front of NFL offices in two weeks.
How much understanding NFL fans will have?