As construction of the Las Vegas Raiders stadium is ramping up, the nation’s appetite for NFL football seems to be slowing down. Even before the recent dust-up between President Trump and a number of NFL players, NFL viewership has been gradually declining. These days, the descent (and dissent) is picking up with each passing week.
Just a few years ago, the National Football League was an unstoppable juggernaut. Revenues from television, radio, ticket sales and merchandise were hitting record numbers. Dazzling new publicly-subsidized stadiums were popping up all over the country. The future seemed so bright we’d all need shades.
During the last 24 months, things have changed:
- More and more parents, including prominent sports broadcaster Bob Costas, are refusing to let their children play football due to the risk of concussion in the game.
- Younger generations no longer gather around a large box on Sunday because they carry around tiny information boxes in their hands. These little boxes deliver rich, personalized landscapes of content. How can TV compete?
- The loss of exciting matchups due to the retirement of star players is affecting the overall quality of the product.
- The NFL’s expansion into Europe, Canada and Mexico is not sitting well with American fans.
Most recently, the issue of kneeling during the National Anthem as a means of protesting police brutality against the black community is ripping the league apart. With President Trump whipping the issue into a frenzy, the NFL has found themselves getting a kind of attention that isn’t in their playbook.
Everyone is taking a position: Stand or kneel. This brings us to Clark County.
The Oakland Raiders will become the Las Vegas Raiders as a result of unprecedented wrangling from Nevada politicians. The Las Vegas City Council and the Clark County Commissioners led a 1.5 billion dollar charge against Nevada’s taxpayers to subsidize billionaires - billionaires that refuse to let their employees’ voices be heard. The Libertarian Party of Nevada believes that if billionaires want to relocate their business to Las Vegas, they should do so on their own dime. However, since the dice have already landed on snake eyes for Nevada taxpayers, we ask our representatives where they stand (or kneel) on the issues of public funding and police brutality.
The Nevada Policy Research Institute, in their report Who Does Civil Asset Forfeiture The Most?, reported that 66% of all civil asset forfeiture cases occurred in just 12 ZIP codes, all located in Clark County. In those 12 ZIP codes, the average non-white population is 42%. Additionally, Metro’s misconduct is so notorious, there’s actually a Wikipedia article on it, which reveals that Metro ranked third in the nation in officer-involved shootings per capita, behind only Houston and Chicago, and that, although the local population is less than 10% Black, about a third of those shot by the police are Black. In short, Clark County’s minority populations have been routinely abused by Clark County’s law enforcement agencies. This abuse is well-documented and internationally infamous, and should absolutely be protested.
So the question we pose is: Do you stand in support of the players protesting injustices affecting our communities, or do you believe that our tax dollars should be used to enrich wealthy team owners who want to quash those rights?
The Libertarian Party of Nevada, and the good people of Las Vegas, Clark County, and the State of Nevada, demand to know.