STORM CENTER: NFL ratings in freefall

Very rare is the occasion for the follow-up column, but the sports editor is more than happy to oblige when the topic is a hot-button issue.
National Football League protests during the playing of the anthem have been front and center during the past month – ever since the season started on Sept. 8.
The sports editor asked for feedback on the column, and there were two responses – one in email and one on our Facebook page.
Here’s what Gary Shafer, from Nocona, had to say.
“As a retired Marine, I have a special regard for the flag and I would be the first to say people have the right to protest whatever they want in whatever way they want as long as it does not break the law.
“However, the Flag has always stood for right and fairness even when our country was guilty of very wrong action.
“During the Civil War, this flag was on the side of freedom for all of our countrymen. Over the years, our servicemen have served and died for that flag and for those rights.
“So while saying they have the right to protest in this way, that does not make it okay. When you stand before a stadium full of people, you are representing your team/school from the National Football League all the way through high school.
“As such, I do not want anyone that thinks this is the correct way to start a conversation about an issue representing me or my family in any way, they should be dismissed from any organization they represent while doing so.
“Any coaches or administrators that allow this should also be fired. Because at the end of the day, we have the right to do whatever we want (within the law), but we do not have the right to be free from the consequences of those actions.”
We had a post from a Robert Thompson, Jr., on the Facebook page, but no additional information could be obtained from him – so we’re not including his comment with this follow-up column.
Maybe Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban was right about the NFL all along.
Two years ago, Cuban called the NFL “hogs heading toward a slaughter,” because the league was oversaturating its audience with too much product. Read more from this column in the Oct. 1 Bowie News.

Editor’s Note: The Storm Center column is the expressed written views of sports editor Eric Viccaro and not The Bowie News.

Dallas Cowboys’ Stephen Jones, owner Jerry Jones, quarterback Tony Romo and Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban are shown at a social event in Dallas. Cuban has been critical of the National Football League in previous interviews. (Courtesy image/Getty)