I’ve touched on this before, but with everything going on and with some rather intense political discussion going on with some of my friends… I kind of wanted to tackle the current situation.
We now live in a world where almost everything is politicized. Those of us who are long time fans of Marvel comics have seen the paradigm shift in content, video games have taken their lumps, commercials have taken theirs, literature has always been politicized, but like comics it seems to have gotten a lot worse, and sports has also entered the mix. Though inserting politics into sports is nothing new (thank you Bob Costas), it’s certainly rare that we see it at this level.
It is an unfortunate trend in the United States which is currently a hugely politically polarized country. It has seeped into almost every aspect of our lives, including our cultural institutions.
So one might ask the question… why is this happening? Well… honestly in my opinion, it is a lack of restraint on the part of many politically minded people. When we talk about the NFL, Colin Kaepernick certain had a huge hand in politicizing football and Donald Trump made it considerably worse with his own comments.
So what’s the issue? People are speaking up about things that they feel are injustices or are speaking out about causes that they feel are important, what could possibly be wrong with that?
Well nothing, for the most part. Just like there is nothing wrong with your friend talking about how much he loved a movie he saw… at first. However after the first hour of listening to him go on and on about it, you start getting bored and if it continues for much longer… it almost gets to the point where you don’t even want to see the movie.
A very enlightening study done by the APA (that’s American Psychological Association… not the Acolyte Protection Agency), showed the people got sick of seeing political ADs really quickly during the election season.
What’s worse is that we also see companies under pressure to add politics into their advertisements for things that are not political, but consumers largely do not like it.
We saw this with Budweiser commercial featuring Amy Schumer and Seth Rogen…
The result of this ad were slumping sales and Budweiser axing the campaign. People simply didn’t want to hear about it and voted with their dollars.
So this is quite the enigma… customers do not like this and wind up spending their money elsewhere, yet for some reason advertisers are feeling subtle pressures to insert politics anyway. Like somehow its important that they let people know their political stance and if they are with some perceived notion of ideological correctness, that will sell more product.
However the numbers have shown otherwise.
So why do they do this?
Maybe because they have a devil may care attitude about their brand and view their political leanings as more important? More likely though, as is the case with Marvel, they have completely mislabelled their readers. While it’s true that the majority of millennials are left leaning, that doesn’t mean that entirety of their audience is and it certainly doesn’t mean that they’re as partisan as the company.
In Colin’s case, I’d say it was the former. His politics are more important than his brand. He believes in the issue and forget consequences, he’s going to make his point… unfortunately this got blown way out of proportion thanks in part to Trump.
Here’s the real problem though… The media has been framing this entire thing as a showdown between the NFL and Trump… however if you look at this a lot more closely, that’s not the case. This really boils down to the NFL vs. the fans. As I stated before, you have a fanbase that is largely apolitical when it comes to sports, they use sports as an escape from every day life and politics, so they don’t appreciate it when politics comes into play. I don’t think the NFL quite realizes this.
So they can attack Trump all they want, and that’s fine, they’re well within their rights to do so… however the fans are already leaving. You’re already seeing a lot of people go from Professional to College football because it’s more enjoyable. However with situation may have turned what was a brook into a river. In the end, Trump has nothing to lose here, but the NFL has everything to lose because once the fans are gone, the tickets stop selling, and the sports packages stop selling, so too does their paychecks.
They may think they’re injuring Trump, but the reality of the situation is that this is not what’s happening.
Anyway, those are just my thoughts. Let me know what you think below.
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