Daily Pat Political Point–NBA Rating Up While NFL Ignores Social Issues–April 16, 2018

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April 16, 2018

Daily Pat Political Point. NBA ratings are up. NFL ratings are down. Yet, more NBA players are sharing political beliefs. But I thought that was wrong?

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The website Deadline reports the NBA experienced it’s best opening playoff Saturday in years.

Playoff basketball ratings were up 17% from last year.

In fact, the NBA’s regular season ratings rose eight-percent this season from last, giving, the league its most watched season in four years!

Not only that, but the NBA is loved by younger generations with the median fan age around 42 years old. The average NFL fan’s age is 50.

But how can this be?

NBA players pay attention and speak-out on public issues. That’s bad for advertisers, or so we’ve been told.

Cleveland Cavaliers star player LeBron James recently said that President Trump “doesn’t understand the people–and really don’t give a (expletive) about the people.”

Oh, man! The right-wing got all riled-up over James’ statements.

However, James refused to back down.

James said he’s following in the footsteps of Muhammad Ali and Jackie Robinson who challenged both the athletic and social boundaries of their sports.

San Antonio Spurs head coach Greg Popovich vigorously defended James’ years of social justice advocacy, even declaring him a “superhero.”

And the ratings didn’t slump.

After the police shooting death of unarmed black man, protests spread quickly throughout Sacramento, hurting the attendance for Kings’ games.

Rather than threaten to punish his players if they spoke-out about Stephon Clark’s death, Kings owner Vivek Ranadive did the opposite.

Ranadive produced a PSA to raise awareness about police violence, created an education fund for Clark’s children and reached out to Black Lives Matter.

And the ratings didn’t slump.

Now, the NBA showed empathy while the NFL punishes players for highlight social ills by peacefully protesting.

Maybe hard-to-understand rules and too many commercial breaks are frustrating fans more than kneeling players.

Meanwhile, fans are flocking to the NBA because the game is filled with stars who aren’t punished for exercising their First Amendment rights.

That’s why the NBA is currently slam-dunking the ratings game.

Will the NFL learn?

I doubt it.

pat@wsgw.com

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