The NFL is back. It feels so good to have pro football back and tonight kicks off the NFL. The Falcons travel to Philadelphia hoping to deliver the Super Bowl Champs a L. But this season is not kicking off as smooth as the NFL would like.
Coming off of a year where the talk of the season was about players standing for the national anthem, the NFL was hoping to turn the page on such a controversial subject. They started with rule changes that required players to either stand for the anthem or stay in the locker room. But the NFL slowly backed off of that point while they discussed it more with the player’s union.
To make things worse for the league, Nike made Colin Kaepernick the spokesperson for their 30 year ad campaign. And they plan on showing that ad tonight during the opening game. This news have sparked back up the debate among fans about player’s roles during the anthem. With some fans supporting the player’s grievance about the police shootings of unarmed black men. And other fans not wanting their game disturbed by politics, as well as wanting players to respect the flag, country, and troops by standing proudly during the anthem. It is no doubt that this debate will plague yet another season.
No matter where you stand on this issue, it is inevitable that the NFL season will continue with this debate. But let’s not act like the NFL has been free of controversy in the past. A few years ago the NFL started the year having to answer questions about concussions and player safety. And Hollywood released Concussion, a movie starring Will Smith that portrayed the trauma that the game of football had on the brain. A few years before that, the talk was about players and domestic violence.
During a time when more people are cutting the cord, will all the bad publicity about concussions and the national anthem finally catch up with the game?
We will find out as the 2018 season kicks off in a few more hours.