An average of 15 million people tuned in during the first 6 games of the 2017 NFL season, compared to an average of 16.2 million during the 2016 season, a ratings decline of 7.5%. Despite those declines, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made big demands for his new contract, including a salary increase from $30 million to $49.5 million, lifetime use of a private jet and lifetime health insurance for him and his family.
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When asked if Goodell was worth those contract demands, former NFL Super Bowl champion Burgess Owens told the FOX Business Network’s Stuart Varney, “You look at the brand of the NFL and at the end of the day being paid on how well you improved the brand, I would say no.”
Owens says Goodell is not a businessperson, but the team owners should have known better than to let the national anthem protests damage the league’s brand.
“Unfortunately, we have NFL [team owners] who understand business and yet, I don’t know, for some reason they allowed their brand to be damaged this way and it’s going to continue to go, we’re going through a sea change right now with people just thinking differently now about [the] NFL entertainment and we should be.”
According to Owens, the NFL’s issues all stem from the league not stopping Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protests early on.
“The mistake was made a year ago when they allowed a Marxist to take the rein of their organization…Colin Kaepernick. And I say that very, very boldly, very proudly because at the end of the day that’s what we’re up against.”
Owens says the NFL no longer has a lock on Sundays in the minds of Americans.
“We have now people rethinking what they do on Sundays and in the old days Sunday was a day of football, now we can think about other things to do, realize that we can still be happy away from the NFL. As long as we have an enterprise that does not respect our country.”