Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP, released the following statement regarding the ongoing exploitation of the NFL at the hands of FOX:
“For several decades, the Fox Corporation, and more specifically, Fox News has represented the worst traditions of American broadcasting. The media outlet has used its news division to sow bigotry and racism, create dissension, spread misinformation, and promote conspiracy theories that ultimately led to an insurrection against the U.S. Capitol. It is safe to say, the views and opinions of Fox News are often squarely positioned against the progression of our democracy and not in the general public’s best interest.
But here’s something that many do not know. Fox actively exploits its Fox Sports licensing deal with the NFL by extracting increasingly high cable subscriber fees to subsidize Fox News programming. This is the same network that has used its hosts and personalities to regularly attack the NFL and its players for promoting racial justice. However, this is just one aspect of its inaccurate, incendiary coverage of racial injustice. Network personalities routinely attack Black Lives Matter and downplay the existence of systemic racism and police brutality. A league where nearly 70% of the players are Black and prides itself as America’s favorite sports pastime, should not be complicit in helping to increase the profits of Fox News.
The NFL should immediately rethink its relationship with Fox, given all that Fox has done to harm its players and the franchise. It’s disturbing that this renewal is even on the table. Fox has further fomented racism, undermined the public health response to the pandemic, and attacked the election’s legitimacy at a volatile time.
The NAACP is requesting a formal meeting with NFL leadership to discuss the unscrupulous tactics employed by Fox to underwrite hate speech and the un-American attacks on those that stand for racial equity and justice. The NAACP is ready to work in tandem with the NFL and hold Fox accountable.”