Being Reminded of Racism Is Destroying Pro Football for Whites

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National Review’s Jim Geraghty passes along the news from SI’s Richard Deitsch that ratings for NFL football are down this season. Deitsch suggests several possible explanations: a crazy election season sucking away attention; a smaller group of star quarterbacks (no Peyton Manning or Tom Brady); bad Monday night games; a slowdown in fantasy football; fatigue from too many days of football; and just generally the fact that this season has featured an awful lot of lousy play. However, Geraghty has his own theory:

There’s probably more than one reason, which means it’s oversimplifying it to say Colin Kaepernick and kneeling NFL players are driving way football fans. But it’s a factor, and maybe the biggest factor.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that nearly one-third (32%) of American adults say they are less likely to watch an NFL game because of the growing number of Black Lives Matter protests by players on the field. Only 13% say they are more likely to watch a game because of the protests. Just over half (52%) say the protests have no impact on their viewing decisions.

Looks like I’m not the only one who just wants to enjoy watching the game.

I don’t watch much pro football, so someone help me out: do the TV nets actually show much kneeling at the start of the game? Do they talk about it? Is it something that intrudes on the game, or would you barely even know it’s happening unless you read about it elsewhere? In other words, is there any plausible reason that Geraghty can’t just enjoy the game anymore without having his beautiful mind reminded that racism still exists in the US?

Speaking of which, you will be unsurprised at just who finds all this kneeling so unpleasant: “Whites are twice as likely as blacks — 36% to 18% — to say they are less likely to watch this year.” Surprise!

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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