From the very first Trump tweet, and each successive show of solidarity from league executives and owners since, we've maintained that the NFL was fighting a losing battle by politicizing their content. As we've said before, while 100% of Americans may be able to agree that they love watching football, roughly 50% are going to disagree with whatever political view, whether right or left, that league executive, players and/or owners decide to publicly cram down their throats.
"The National Football League and its owners have shown their fans and marketing partners that they do not have a comprehensive policy to ensure that players stand and show respect for America and our flag during the playing of the national anthem," Steve Kalafer said in a statement. "We have cancelled all of our NFL advertising on the Optimum and Infinity (cable) networks."
Kalafer is also part of the Somerset Patriots' ownership group, an independent professional baseball team based in Somerset County.
"As the NFL parses the important nationwide issues of 'social justice' and 'freedom of speech,' it is clear that a firm direction by them is not forthcoming," Kalafer said in the statement.
"I'm talking to 99-percent of (my) contacts, and they agree that it's disrespectful, it's improper," he said. "We couldn't support the lack of direction."
According to the company's website, Flemington has been in existence as a family-owned business since 1976 and operates 8 car dealerships around New Jersey selling 17 different brand names.
Meanwhile, Steve Kalafer, the owner of the Flemington Dealerships and a local baseball team called the Somerset Patriots, took the opportunity to educate the NFL on how to be truly proactive in pursuing the change they want to see in society rather than participating in meaningless protests that require no effort and simply irritate fans.
Kalafer suggested instead of the protests continuing on national television, in front of veterans, police and other first-responders, the players and teams should focus on ways to support their communities.
"Everyone should be involved in true social justice to make sure we're looking at our communities and seeing how we can make them better, fairer and more equitable," he said.
Kalafer said the Somerset Patriots players focus on volunteering as a way of supporting their communities.
"We're in schools with players talking about sportsmanship and behavior, we're in community work places talking to the under-served and inviting them to participate in our games and in our stands," he said.
Kalafer said kneeling during the anthem is not an issue for his players because the team's ownership "made sure there was nothing that was unclear."
"We're not in a movie, we are not in a documentary, we are in life every day," he said. "In order to do that, we have to participate every day, not just in a protest everyone debates. Let's not debate, let's be active every day."
Adding the the NFL's misery, Deadline notes today that viewership continues to tumble with last night's ratings down 10% compared to the Cowboys - Cardinals match-up one week ago.
Coming off last week’s Dallas Cowboys’ 28-17 win over the Arizona Cardinals, where the ratings actually went up for MNF, last night’s game was not a victory for the Disney-owned cable giant nor the NFL in the early numbers.
Against a packed Big 4 primetime, MNF snared an 8.4 in metered market numbers. That’s down 10% from the Cowboys and Cardinals game of September 25. Year-to-year, the Chiefs’ fourth straight win this season dipped 8% in the early numbers from the comparable Minnesota Vikings’ 24-10 win over the New York Giant on October 3, 2016 – a season of sliding ratings that the NFL wants to forget, but may repeat.
All that said, if the largest mass shooting in American history couldn't convince all the players to stand for the national anthem in last night's game, somehow we suspect the actions of a single Jersey car dealer won't be quite sufficient either.