It's no secret that the NFL is in on the cultural assault being waged against the traditions of this country.
They kneel for our Anthem, or avoid the field altogether.
They allow their players to honor accused rapists like Jacob Blake on their uniforms, but forbid honoring fallen Police.
It appears now that organizations within the NFL may even be targeting employees & affiliates based on their political beliefs….err…support of President Trump.
Like popular Carolina Panthers Spanish-Language Announcer, Luis Moreno, Jr.
Why didn’t Luis Moreno Jr. return to the booth to start his second decade on the job? How is it that one half of the Spanish-language broadcast duo that sang and danced (and screamed) its way into the hearts of thousands of Panthers fans during the run to the 2015 Super Bowl is still there, but the other is not?
Moreno Jr. says the answer is simple: He’s been openly supportive of President Donald Trump, and the Panthers didn’t approve.
The 42-year-old, who moved to the U.S. from Mexico when he was 14 and just became an American citizen at the end of August, had been controversy-free since going on the air en Español for the team with his uncle — play-by-play commentator Jaime Moreno — for the first time in 2010.
In fact, they became media darlings for infusing their calls with bursts of extreme enthusiasm more commonly associated with Spanish soccer announcers, and for coining off-the-wall nicknames for the team’s biggest talents.
But this past spring, after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Moreno Jr.’s personal life changed dramatically. Unbeknownst to him, it would bring about a dramatic change in his professional life, too.
Prior to the stay-at-home order, he says, he was too absorbed in other things to focus much on politics. While stuck at home, though, he started devouring online content related to Trump and “found out that there are a lot of things that are happening that I wasn’t aware of that make me support him.”
Sometime in April, Moreno Jr. says, he retweeted a tweet from his personal Twitter account that was supportive of Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign. Shortly thereafter, he says, he was tagged in a tweet along with several other Trump supporters.
He says he was then contacted by Eric Fiddleman — the radio and television affiliate manager for the Panthers as well as the Spanish-language radio general manager for the two announcers; Fiddleman, he says, told him the team was requesting that he remove any information related to the Panthers from his bios on his personal social-media accounts.
Fiddleman didn’t respond to a text message from the Observer. Steven Drummond, Panthers vice president of communications and external affairs, declined to comment.
Moreno Jr. says he complied, changing his bios to include labels and hashtags that showed him to be a Trump supporter. He also continued to create and share social-media posts supportive of the president and his reelection campaign.
Among them: Posts advancing QAnon, the convoluted, pro-Trump conspiracy theory involving a shadowy group of Democratic pedophiles. (“If people really find out what QAnon is,” he says, “I think that more people would be on board because we are nothing but love and truth. All we’re trying to do is just wake up people.”)
Then, over the summer, he says Fiddleman called again — this time to say Drummond wanted to talk to him about his social-media activity. Moreno Jr. says he told Fiddleman: “If what they want me to do is stop supporting the president, I’m not gonna do that.”
His biggest objection? That, as an independent contractor, he’s not an actual employee of the Panthers, and that typically his annual contracts ended with the season and weren’t renewed until late spring, sometimes early summer. So he says he felt he had already gone out of his way for them by changing his bios even though he wasn’t under contract with the team at the time.
He says he asked Fiddleman to have Drummond call him, and he also e-mailed Drummond asking to give him a call.
No one from the Panthers ever got back to him, Moreno Jr. says.
“Basically what I told Eric, I said, ‘Listen ... I’m not even under contract right now. I am not willing to participate in this project anymore if I’m going to be censored. So unless they call me, I’m not going to do it anymore. Because I am not OK with them censoring my freedom of speech in support of the president.’”
“I’m hurt,” he says, “because this has nothing to do with my performance on-air. This has nothing to do with how good I am at what I do. I’m one of the best, and I’ll put myself against anybody in the country when it comes to what I do in Spanish. None of my support for the president was done on any of their social-media pages, it was never done on any of the airtime — whether it was a podcast or a broadcast or anything related to the Panthers. This was solely on my personal time on my personal accounts.”
Still, when asked if he understands why someone in his position might be asked to adhere to company policies regarding social-media activity, Moreno Jr. says he does.
“I’m pretty sure we would have been able to come to some type of agreement in finding sort of like a silver lining or a middle ground,” he says."
If it's any consolation, NFL ratings are tanking so far this year.
Are you ready for some football? Apparently not according to NFL ratings released Monday that show a 28% drop in viewers of Sunday Night Football’s week one game, according to Deadline. This year’s opening game featured a showdown between the Dallas Cowboys and LA Rams, two teams with massive fan bases.
That dip follows a 12% drop in viewers of the NFL kickoff game Sept. 10 between the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans.
While Sunday’s figures do not include West Coast figures, it is a worrying trend for the NFL and NBC. The most painful figures come from the most important demographic: adults 18-49 which are key to advertisers. Last year, the Patriots versus Steelers drew 22.2 million viewers in that demo. Sunday’s game that number fell to 14.81 million key viewers.
It’s easy to see that political divide playing some part in the decline. As players and teams take on social justice issues such as Black Lives Matter and police brutality, some fans have taken to criticizing the league. Some 17,000 fans booed Chiefs and Texans players after they locked arms in unity after the national anthem during Thursday night’s matchup."
O well, couldn't have happened to a nicer group of entitled millionaires and their billionaire handlers.