For the NFL, it's all about the money
Yes it’s true, no matter how much the fans that watch football or any sport for that matter don’t want to believe it the NFL is a business and it is the responsibility to make the most money possible while only appearing to care about the fans, or the players for that matter. Which brings me to my first example, the head injury issue. Since the sports origin the game was branded as a hard hitting, intense sport that was not meant for the week. Injuries were very common, head injuries became more common. As since been reported in a recent documentary there was a growing concern about the long term effects of head injuries in football, and while the people conducting the studies were trying to build awareness around the serious issue, the NFL was doing its best to just sweep it under the rug. However as time went on and more players were experiencing these serious long term effects caused by head trauma it became too difficult for the NFL to cover up what was happening to their employees.
Public Relations is essential to any company and the image of the brand goes hand in hand with their success. For the NFL their image was taking a major hit in the public eye as now people were becoming aware of the dangers that could come with playing football. It was not until the issue was brought into the national spotlight that the NFL took action. Now the game is taking extreme measures to at least appear to care about the long term effects of concussions. From changing the rules of how to hit a player, all the way to the “Heads Up” campaign for Pee Wee Football the NFL is finally doing something about player safety. The sad part is they did not take action until their image was under attack. So while the NFL will tell you it was all about player safety that is not even close to the truth. It was all about protecting the brand.
Next is the Redskins name which has become a hotly contested issue in the NFL currently. Should the name be changed? I think if it offends anyone no matter what the history of the team is then the name should be changed, and that is the stance Roger Goodell has taken as well. Redskins owner Dan Snyder has been adamant that he does not want to change the name mostly because of the teams rich history surrounding the team name. People have been coming out and supporting the team name, while some have come out against the team name, but one thing is apparent and that is that eventually this team name will be changed. However the name change will not be because it is offensive as the NFL will tell you, it will be for, yes you guess it money. Think about it this way: the NFL makes so much money of retail merchandise, if the team name changes the name there will be a ton of new merchandise for people to buy. Once Dan Snyder and the powers that be in the NFL offices realize the best way to monetize this name change, then the name will be changed. But don’t let anyone tell you it was because the name was offensive.
The harsh reality of it all is that while the NFL is extremely entertaining, they are a business. No different from any other major corporation in the world today that does whatever they can to make the most profit by appealing to you. Just don’t forget that.