Billionaire Mark Cuban predicted three years ago that the NFL would eventually deteriorate as a result of greed.
And, three years later, that prognosis, although a little ahead of schedule, seems to be accurate.
“Rule number one of business,” he said at the time, was that “you get greedy [and] it always, always, always, always, always turns on you.”
Cuban, who has not shied away from talks of a potential run for president, recently spoke with The Washington Post to discuss the NFL’s downfall.
TV ratings are the barometer of gauging the value of a major sports league. Viewership of NFL games is down seven-percent compared to last year, and 18-percent compared to just two years ago. Polls show that ratings drop can partially be attributed to players kneeling during the national anthem.
As owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban knows the ins-and-outs of running a major sports team. Cuban says, if he were an NFL owner, he would get rid of the kneeling.
Instead, he would have his players record a video statement to be played for the fans prior to the games. He says “If the goal is to send a message, let’s send a message the best way possible. Let’s not just play a game where we’re hoping the narrative is what we want it to be.”
But, according to Cuban, players kneeling is not the NFL’s biggest problem. He says if the league wants to return to prominence, it must find a way to get more kids excited to play organized football, while also convincing parents that it’s safe to do so.
“Kids playing Minecraft or watching YouTube videos instead of watching sports on TV and the lack of families having a hardcore allegiance to their city’s teams is a fundamental problem for all major sports. But, it’s a bigger problem for the NFL because a growing number of parents are trying to hide football from their kids so they don’t want to play.”