The pro-police organization Blue Lives Matter will not partner with football’s New York Jets this season after the team signed a player who once posted to Instagram a photo depicting the murder of a policeman.
“With the NFL season right around the corner, there is no better time to open up a conversation about how your business/organization can benefit from a partnership with the New York Jets,” reads a Tuesday email from the Jets’ Anthony Bulak to Blue Lives Matter founder Joe Imperatrice.
But Imperatrice spiked the proposal within minutes, replying that the NFL is too toxic with player protests over institutional racism.
“Although I’d love to work with an NFL team right now I feel it is not the right time. All over the United States players feel entitled to disrespect our first responders, our military members both past and present and our flag. These players make more money in a season than some people make in a lifetime and their ‘Issues’ are made up, exaggerated, and more times than not false,” he responded, according to emails shared with The Post.
“Once again I do appreciate the offer but revenue we have could better be spent on the families of officers killed in the line of duty protecting the ignorance of these individuals rather than contributing to their paycheck.”
Allow me to shout out the anachronistic “Right On!”
Bulak claimed there were no anthem protests last year on the Jets but Imperatrice pointed to a recent signing by the team of a player who disrespected first responders:
But Bulak’s play fell short — and Imperatrice fired back that the Jets just signed running back Isaiah Crowell, who once posted to Instagram a grisly illustration of a dark figure slashing a cop’s throat, along with the caption: “Mood: They give polices all types of weapons and they continuously choose to kill us…#Weak.”
“If I am correct the JETS may have signed an individual who depicted a Grim Reaper slicing the throat of a police officer,” Imperatrice wrote, including a photo of the controversial 2016 social media post.
Crowell, who played for the Cleveland Browns at the time, removed the image and apologized but was not disciplined.
This is the only way to put some steel in the backbone of owners who have it within their power to halt the protests any time they screw up the courage to do so. They don’t care much if the team plays before a half-empty stadium and it doesn’t matter to them now if TV audience numbers are plummeting. But the continuing anthem protests by players may radically affect the future of NFL franchises.
The TV deal between the league and the networks is due to expire in 2022. It’s hard to see how advertisers will continue to shell out cash if audience numbers keep falling and the perception by fans of the NFL becomes more negative. Owners, who could have nipped this problem in the bud by cracking down the first week of the protests, now find themselves slaves to the whims of ignorant players, unable to control their own house.
There’s only one way this is going to end and it won’t be pretty.