Which do you prefer to see: badly injured football players lying motionless on stretchers or angry football players taking a knee during the national anthem? This Hobson's Choice is provided courtesy of NFL protest apologist Evan Grossman of the New York Daily News' sports desk.
The bad taste of last night's NFL grudge match between the Bengals and the Steelers primed Grossman for taking a cheap shot of his own at those who disagree with the pregame protests. He's attempting to trap protest opponents into admitting the kneeling and fist-raising aren't all that bad compared to the serious injuries occurring on the field:
What’s harder to watch, a player on his knee, or one on a stretcher?.
Grossman offers this hollow "choice" because he's making the case that violence and injuries are at the root of the NFL's problems -- not the fan disenchantment with social justice protests.
Grossman may have gotten the idea for offering this premise from former Giants lineman Geoff Schwartz, who tweeted after Sunday night's game: "The injuries and violence we have seen tonight is more of a concern for the future of the NFL than protests. The violence isn't going away.” Grossman took that argument and aimed it at the president and others:
President Trump likes to tweet that football fans are turning the channel over politics, but he ignores the fact that maybe some fans are just fed up seeing football players assault each other. Focusing only on anthem protests distracts from mounting evidence that football is hazardous to your health, but the violence and lack of respect between players in Monday night’s game was so clearly evident that even one of the game’s biggest fans could not ignore what he was seeing.
<<< Please support MRC's NewsBusters team with a tax-deductible contribution today. >>>
Without offering any documentation, Grossman claims the NFL's viewership is down because of violence (that used to be known as blocking and tackling). He also thinks the national anthem is "polarizing." And Colin Kaepernick did not turn off football fans through his protest and barbed tweets; it was the former 49er's afro that pushed people away. Grossman also brought Troy Aikman, former Dallas quarterback and current broadcaster, to try to convince readers that the league's tailspin is mostly violence related:
Aikman, who has a well-documented history with concussions, has said he has no memory of playing in the 1994 NFC Championship Game. Aikman’s battered brain will never get the kind of blame reserved for Kaepernick’s afro for pushing people away from football.
Black athletes have been wearing afros for decades, and that never dented ticket sales or depressed TV ratings. Injuries and disabled lists are unfortunately part of sports, but they don't cause declines in sports attendance or viewership. Still, Grossman insists pro football fans are tuning out because of "violence" on the field. "(I)it’s impossible to ignore the carnage of the game may be pushing some people away, too," he writes without offering a shred of evidence.
Without a shred of evidence. Another way of saying that is it's a false claim. It's fake news from the left-stream media, champions of fake news.