Saturday on MSNBC, ESPN senior writer Howard Bryant weighed in on the NFL’s new rule that requires players to either stand on the field or remain in the locker room for the National Anthem, saying he thinks the league sees black consumers as “unimportant” or not important enough to cater to them.
“Do you have an idea, Howard, whether Roger Goodell or the owners, are they taking the black consumer into consideration?” host Alex Witt asked.
“I don’t think they are,” Bryant replied. “I think what they’ve done is they’ve decided that the black consumer is either unimportant, or the black consumer is going to go along and watch football regardless of what the players do or what the owners do. And I think that that is … a challenge to the black consumer to say how do you feel about this?”
He added, “Now we’re talking about unpatriotic ball players to sort of rally a base. And the real challenge for me has been what are the black consumers going to do about it? Everybody talks a really good game about being outraged, but at the end of the day, when you look at those numbers, the NFL is a $13-14 billion industry, and their ratings were fine last year, even though they may have been down a bit, it’s still a very highly watched program.”
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