Another NFL player has showed his disregard for fans. This time New York Giants defensive end Oliver Vernon told fans point blank id they did not like his decision to kneel for the national anthem then don’t come to the game. But it appears Vernon is ignorant to the fact that the fans are the ones that supports his livelihood and that a vast majority of Americans have decided not to watch NFL football anymore for players to make political statements.
Vernon, the only member of the Giants that is still on a regular basis taking a knee, told Washington Times reporters that he has been heckled by fans in response to his season-long protest.
“You hear ‘coward’ and ‘stand up’ and ‘disgrace’. It’s fine. As long as nobody comes on the field and touches me. You stay where you at, you’re going to be all right. They have a right. Oh yeah, I hear it all the time. If they don’t like it, don’t come to the game.”
When Vernon’s comments ran in the New York Post, they stunned former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback and current CBS football commentator Boomer Esiason, who called the comments an “out-and-out disgrace”. Esiason also points out that Vernon signed a five-year, $85 million contract with Giants owner John Mara, which made Vernon the richest defensive end in NFL history.
In an interview with WFAN radio in New York City, Esiason said “Here is a guy you gave $80 million to basically telling your fans, “If you don’t like it, don’t come. It is the most egregious act of defiance. It just blows me away.”
I guess Oliver Vernon does not realize that he is biting the hand that is feeding him and the rest of the protesters given the fact that the NFL business model depends on the fans support whether it is attending the games, buying NFL merchandise, or watching the games on television.