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Mark Murphy, President and CEO, Green Bay Packers
Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner
I am writing to you as a lifelong fan of the Green Bay Packers. I have been a Packer fan since the mid-1960s despite having been born and raised in Chicago. While in grammar school, our library had Sports Illustrated, and reading the articles about the Packers I fell in love.Lombardi, Nitschke, Starr, Adderley, Hornung, and Kramer became my heroes. I remember exactly what I was doing while listening to the radio broadcast of the Ice Bowl. From the Glory
Lombardi, Nitschke, Starr, Adderley, Hornung, and Kramer became my heroes. I remember exactly what I was doing while listening to the radio broadcast of the Ice Bowl. From the Glory Days, to the travails in the ’70s and ’80s, I followed Brockington, Hadl, Dickey, Lofton, etc., listening to the games on WTMJ radio. In the ’90s with their rebirth, I became an early subscriber to NFL Sunday Ticket, so I could watch them while living in California. I hosted a Super Bowl Party for SB XXXI when the Lombardi Trophy returned to Title Town.
From 1997 to 2007 I moved to the Fox Valley. While there I attended many Packer games, and my children became fans as well. We were in the stands for Freeman’s Miracle Catch against the Vikings. We witnessed the “We Want the Ball” pick-six against the Seahawks, just to mention a few memorable games. From 1997 to 2007, when we moved to North Carolina, I and my son attended about three games a year.
After the move to North Carolina, we tried to make a game every other year, either locally, or back at Lambeau. Four of us attended the playoff game in Atlanta in 2010 to see the Packers on their advance to their Super Bowl championship in SB XLV. Christmas gifts for myself and my kids the next year were shares of Packers stock. We were owners. More games, as we traveled to Charlotte and Wisconsin the next few years. We planned to attend the Charlotte game this year.
Thousands spent on tickets, hotels, flights and meals. Money spent on DirectTV since 1996 so that I could watch the NFL Sunday Ticket. NFL Game Pass to watch the games when I worked in Saudi Arabia, and watch the replays since I returned to the US. Sirius Radio subscriptions so I could listen to the games while traveling.
I was twice featured as a fan, once in the Appleton newspaper, later on Packers Everywhere, the former because while working in the Middle East, I took a Packer Gnome around the world with me to show my Packer pride. Dubai, Bahrain, the UAE, Kiev, Paris, Berlin, London, Amsterdam, and Istanbul, around Saudi Arabia were among the places we visited. My family and I couldn’t wait for the start of this season to cheer the Packers on.
I was disturbed by the player protests which began with Kaepernick and his parroting of the false BLM narrative. But I could tolerate it as long as it was isolated players. But now, suddenly, it has become the official team position of the Packers. We are a bitterly divided nation. Sports was one of the very few refuges from that. Come game day, it was about the sport and the teams.
But now, politics has been injected onto the field at every game, and apparently, the NFL’s official position is to not only allow but encourage this Social Justice Warrior behavior. The original protests were based on a lie, that large numbers of black men were being shot down by police. A quick look at the facts makes that claim ludicrous. The greatest threat to black men is being shot by other black men. Ignoring that and concentrating on the handful of police shootings is like ignoring your lung cancer and focusing on your acne.
Now, the protests have changed into some amorphous “unity against injustice and oppression,” when in fact they are just a temper tantrum because the President called the players on their protests, forcing them to claim they weren’t disrespecting the symbols of our nation — the flag and anthem — a patent lie considering the statements made by multiple players. Watching Kaepernick wear his “pig socks” and his “Che” shirt was greatly offensive to me as a Ukrainian whose family had to flee Communism, and a veteran of the Cold War.
I don’t care what the players believe or do off the field. But I refuse to be lectured about how unjust and oppressive the United States is while trying to watch a football game. Now, after your meetings, the official position of the league is to inject itself in politics and use the NFL brand and platform for “reform.” If I want a lecture, I can go to a Hollywood movie, watch any TV program, listen to any one of hundreds of “comedians,” or read the New York Times or Time Magazine. I don’t need the aggravation of watching the entire Packers organization, or any other NFL team, essentially give the finger to fans like myself and about half the nation. I’ve got better things to do with my life.
So, I’ve taken down my Packer memorabilia. I’ve removed the stickers and plate holders from my car. I’ve cancelled Sunday Ticket, DirecTV, Sirius radio, and won’t be renewing my Game Pass. No more trips to Lambeau, or any other NFL venue. The collateral damage now includes hotels, airlines, bars, and restaurants. I’ll be several thousand dollars a year richer. The NFL will be that much poorer.
If the Green Bay Packers and the NFL come back to their senses, and get back to football, and stop with the politics and virtue signaling, I’ll be back. If not, then good bye and good riddance.