Boycotts took center stage in several areas in 2017. Retail, entertainment, sports and award shows were some that took serious hits.
The NFL was hit by a loss of at least 500 million dollars. The stadiums were full of empty seats, and viewers turned the games off. Advertisers got refunds when viewership dropped below a certain threshold, and even sports bars turned the games off. The boycott took hold when some players took a knee during the playing of the National Anthem before each game, by at least five or more teams. It is not clear what their message was. The one they wanted believed was that they were protesting the men in blue for unnecessary abuse against African-Americans. They seemed to forget that the national anthem and the flag stands for our great nation and the military, who put their lives on the line for all of us, every single day. They also forgot that they were “At Work”, and were there to entertain the viewers. Colin Kaepernick was the first to pull this stunt off a year before. If the focus was on police brutality there were better ways to handle this cause that would have had support from the public. Instead many Americans were seriously offended. It was reported that some ticket prices dropped below highschool football games, by the end of the season. I am sure there were player who did not support the kneeling, but kept quite. There must have been tension in those club houses, and team work must have suffered. The Football Commissioner, Roger Goodell, the owners of the teams, and the coaches, could have nipped this in the bud by saying, “stop kneeling, and focus on playing football, and figure out how to protest somewhere else. Instead they folded to the spoiled and over paid babies, who were too stupid or too lazy to figure out better ways to make their statements, that could have produced all kinds of support. I doubt if the NFL will ever recover, and expect an exceptionally low attendance from TV viewers during the Super Bowl on Febuary 4, 2018. The tickets for this years Super Bowl are reported to be higher than ever. It will be interesting to see if there are any empty seats. I will not be watching however, so I will have to hear about it on the news.
Starbucks took a hit when Howard Schultz made some loud comments related to gay and traditional marriage. He took the side of the gays, which was unnecessary in my opinion. Schultz suggested that shareholders, who did not support gay marriage, should sell their shares. He also was very vocal with anti Trump rhetoric. He paid the price when customers began skipping Starbucks for their daily fix of caffeine. Schultz stepped down from his CEO position on December 1, 2016, and became executive chairman. The word is out that management is now begging the offended customers to come back. Schultz has every right to support any cause financially, but his name was closely connected with Starbucks. He should have had more sense. I think he thought he was so important that he could make an impact. He was right. He did make a substantial NEGATIVE impact and his share holders paid the price.
The entertainment industry ended up with poor ticket sales to the tune of losing at least 62 million ticket sales, the lowest in over two decades. All award show viewership slid down the rabbit hole in record numbers. The Grammys had the lowest rating in TV history. Trump’s State of the Union address had twice as many viewers as the Grammys, as reported my a news agency. The Oscars and Golden Globes had lower viewership than in years past as well. One actress complained, saying that the conservatives were negatively impacting her ability to work. Dah. Maybe she should have thought before she stood on protest stages and screeched her hate and venom directed at decent, law-abiding Americans. I have no sympathy. She lost a role in a film she had been signed for, because she was to have played a female army pilot, and the decision makers on the film felt that her activism would turn conservative movie goers away. Her last name, by the way, is Judd. The people in the entertainment industry seem to be in a bubble that keeps them from reality. They memorize scripts and follow directions on how to act. I see that pattern as developing lazy thinkers. I feel sorry for the few who have retained conservative beliefs and suffer financial consequences. Some are even blackballed for their beliefs. I don’t think anyone beside the ones in the industry care who they want to win a political office. And the lack of support for decent scripts, family and moral values, our men and women in blue, and in the military, have seriously made a lot of conservatives angry enough to snub their noses at buying or watching their products.
On a personal note, I purchased a coat from SCOTTeVEST between Christmas and New Years. It had 25 pockets. When I received it I filled some of the pockets and wore it once, thinking the pockets could replace my purse. As it turned out I had a hard time finding things. It was a cool coat however, and the sleeves unzipped to make it a vest. I decided to keep it until I read a 2015 article the founder wrote. He said he loved advertizing on Fox News, because the ones watching were gullible. I called customer service the next day and arranged a return. I asked the person on the other end if he was aware of what Scot had said. He said yes. He mumbled something about it being unfortunate that he made that comment and sounded very embarrassed. I told him that I was returning the coat because of that statement, that I watched Fox News and that if I was indeed gullible I was remedying it with my return.
Consumers have found their voice and are speaking loudly with their dollars. They buy or boycott at their leisure. No one can deny that boycotts made an impact in 2017. Just ask the NFL, Starbucks, The Entertainment business and maybe even SCOTTeVEST.
Years ago Michael Jordan stood on one side of a controversy. Someone asked him why he did not chime in. He said even those I disagree with purchase athletic shoes. Why would I want to offend them? Michael was a smart dude.