The NAACP has called on the NFL to “rethink” its relationship with Fox due to the “racism” supposedly promoted by the Fox News Channel.
The activist civil rights group insisted that Fox News is a “uniquely destructive force” that “foments racism, undermines public health recovery from the pandemic, and repeatedly attacks the legitimacy of last year’s Presidential election,” USA Today reported.
Derrick Johnson, the president and chief executive officer of the NAACP, sent the letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on March 9 insisting that “the NFL’s programming should not be used as a bargaining tool for Rupert Murdoch to help fund Fox News’ hatred, bigotry, lies and racism.”
“It is immensely perturbing that the NFL would consider extending its relationship with Fox,” Johnson told the paper, “especially after the January 6th insurrection on our Capitol. The NFL should not be used as a bargaining tool to help fund Fox News’ racist and dangerous programming.
“Fox News has gone far and beyond to disinform its viewers, inciting hate, bigotry, and ultimately threatening American democracy,” the civil rights group head added. “We have grave concerns with the NFL’s contract renewal with Fox, and we look forward to having a serious conversation.”
The NFL has been involved in deep negotiations with ESPN, CBS, Fox, and NBC to sell the next broadcast packages to air the NFL’s games, and the deals are expected to bring in billions of dollars into the NFL’s coffers. The NFL is reportedly asking $2.25 billion from Fox.
But Johnson said that he fears the money Fox will earn from football will be channeled to Fox News which will unleash more of its “hate” and “divisiveness.”
According to the paper, the letter attacks Fox News head-on:
“Dear Mr. Goodell,” Johnson begins, “as our nation continues to perfect its promise of democracy, the NAACP applauds the NFL’s indications of support for social justice. Affirmative statements from League leadership, sizable contributions to benefit marginalized communities, and even stadium signage denouncing bigotry are all helpful gestures toward addressing harsh and disproportionate realities suffered by too many in our society.
“Unfortunately, not all public influencers are willing to dedicate resources to achieving social equity. Notably, Fox News continues to inflame racial division and propagate an unstable political climate.
“The NFL’s programming should not be used as a bargaining tool for Rupert Murdoch to help fund Fox News’ hatred, bigotry, lies and racism.”
Johnson added that he fears that Fox will somehow “exert unfair leverage to extort increased carriage fees for Fox News” and the NFL’s money will help them do that.
“We are all familiar with the depths of manipulation and polarizing tone Fox News is willing to espouse. It remains to be seen whether the NFL will act to safeguard its players and fans from further exploitation, by prohibiting the media conglomerate from unduly capitalizing on the largesse of its corporate affiliations, and utilizing the enrichment to destabilize our democracy,” Johnson exclaimed.
“We hope to begin an immediate dialogue with you and any other NFL leadership to elaborate our concerns and your response. We look forward to hearing from you in the coming days as we move forward on this critical issue,” the NAACP leader’s letter concluded.
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