The NFL's proposed $100 million in donations is a foolish political stunt

The NFL, beleaguered by player protests during playing of the national anthem that have angered many fans and lowered TV ratings for its games, has doubled down on liberal politics.

As you’ve probably heard by now, the league proposed last week to join players in donating nearly $100 million to what ESPN called “causes important to African-American communities.”

But in reality, the proposal is  nothing more than a political stunt designed to score brownie points with the mainstream media – from ESPN and Sports Illustrated, to the New York Times.

The NFL wants to partner with the Players Coalition, which represents players “protesting social injustices and racism,” along with a pair of liberal nonprofits – the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and Dream Corps.

According to ESPN: “The NFL hopes this effort will effectively end the peaceful-yet-controversial movement that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started when he refused to stand for the national anthem last season.”

Don’t be fooled. The NFL’s donation isn’t about “social causes” or “racial equality.” It’s about America’s favorite football league caving to left-wing activists.

Both the UNCF and Dream Corps, which have been critical of President Trump, would each receive $25 million under the NFL proposal. The Players Coalition would get the rest of the money to make charitable contributions to other organizations.

As soon as the news broke, ESPN praised the “donation to social justice organizations” in the enduring “push for racial equality.” Sports Illustrated claimed the plan would “address social justice issues” that will “help in African-American communities.” The New York Times seized on the proposal, saying it will “aid social causes.”

Don’t be fooled. The NFL’s donation isn’t about “social causes” or “racial equality.” It’s about America’s favorite football league caving to left-wing activists.

Just follow the money, which would ironically come from the NFL owners who many liberals have vilified as “racist” for denying Kaepernick a job he doesn’t deserve. Kaepernick has not been hired by another team this season, after leaving the 49ers.  

The UNCF has criticized President Trump’s education budget in recent months. The Dream Corps is a nonprofit advocacy group founded by CNN commentator Van Jones, who called President Trump’s election victory a “whitelash.”

Dream Corps is essentially a promotional vehicle for Jones, featuring his new book and other racially charged political commentary. One of the group’s top issues is an “inclusive green economy” to “lift people out of poverty” – because there’s nothing low-income Americans need more, of course, than stricter environmental regulations.

Moreover, Dream Corps sponsored the anti-Trump “We Rise Tour” and provides catchy posters for its ongoing “Anti-Fascist War.” One reads: “Real Men Rep the F-Word #Feminist.” Another proclaims: “No Ban. No Wall. Sanctuary for All.”

You get the picture. Instead of bringing Americans together around a national pastime, the NFL is standing with multimillionaire anthem kneelers and funding the anti-Trump resistance movement. Some way to market to President Trump’s 63 million supporters!

The NFL would be better off appeasing its loyal fans than liberal activists. All three of the league’s Thanksgiving games saw double-digit drops in viewership from the previous year. Meanwhile, NFL merchandise sales have fallen by 20 percent in recent years. People are changing the channel and their shopping habits.

The same goes for ESPN, which has inundated Americans with pro-Kaepernick and anti-Trump coverage for months. The network recently laid off 150 more employees, bringing the total number of 2017 layoffs to 250 workers.

Memo to the sports industry: Stick to sports – or face extinction.

Amanda Head is host of The Hollywood Conservative.