Chris Thompson Mix-up Shines a Light on Perception Issues With the NFL


Washington Redskins running back Chris Thompson started trending on Twitter yesterday after he reportedly “called out” fans in DC for poor attendance and booing the team. This is the story that that stems from:

Courtesy of 106.7 The Fan:

An announced attendance of 57,013 left the stadium looking empty on the CBS broadcast. Redskins players, Thompson says, could hear fans booing the product on the field, which resulted in an unflattering 21-9 loss.

“I think, as players, we go out there, we want a loud crowd, we want a crowd out there to give us a boost,” the running back told reporters Monday, when asked if he noticed the half-empty crowd. “When their offense is on the field, put them in situations where the communication may be off because they can’t hear and things like that, and we didn’t have a good turnout.”

“Me, I noticed it,” he said. “I also noticed the boos we got as well, and that’s not something that I’m a real big fan of. If you’re a fan of a team, you shouldn’t be booing them, whether we’re doing good or bad. We understand as players that we’re not performing how we should. You don’t have to boo us to let us know – we’re out there on the field.

You can attribute this whole thing to bad clickbait. It doesn’t sound like Thompson is calling out fans at all, merely stating the obvious – players notice when the crowd is absent or booing, and it gives them a boost when the crowd is rowdily in their favor. That’s nothing new, and Thompson took issue with the headline of this article on Twitter.

Seems straightforward enough, no? Writer misconstrues Thompson’s words to write a sensation headline to get clicks. Story over. But, I couldn’t resist the urge to click through the comments on that initial post, and some of the responses shine a light on a larger perception issue with the NFL. Take a look at some of these:

Fans are angry because they read a headline instead of a full article, sure, but there’s an interesting theme in a lot of the responses – the cost of going to an NFL game in 2018. Several people shared that sentiment.

That idea seems pretty prevalent in today’s NFL fandom. I don’t think that’s a reach at all. It seems like fans are no longer willing to just blindly pay whatever the cost to go watch games live. It’s the result of all of these monstrous stadiums, and ticket and concession prices skyrocketing. For a long time, the NFL has gotten away with gouging consumers for every dime they could get.

One person mentioned the kneeling, and I do think that’s apart of it – the NFL is losing a strong contingency of its core viewership.

Perhaps our ravenous love of American football is indeed dwindling? It’s apart of a myriad of issues I wrote about over a year ago. Just thought it was interesting to see these types of frustrations voiced in real life.

People see Thompson “calling out” fans, and their reaction is to go into all the reasons they don’t want to support the NFL. That rise in resentment towards the shield is pretty interesting.

Stoney Keeley is the Editor in Chief of The SoBros Network. He is a strong supporter of Team GSD and #BeBetter. “Big Natural” covers the Tennessee Titans, Alabama Crimson Tide football, the WWE, and a whole wealth of nonsense. Follow on Twitter @StoneyKeeley

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