Why is the NFL doing business with China?

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On the surface, it’s obvious why the NFL has chosen to do business with China. If the NFL ever can establish a foothold in the most populous nation on the planet, a billion-dollar enterprise will move much more quickly toward becoming a trillion-dollar behemoth.

But the “why China?” question goes deeper than profits. China continues to be a communist regime, with all the hallmarks of an authoritarian regime, with an ongoing assault on basic human rights.

The NFL nevertheless has been openly flirting with China for several years now, courting a burgeoning middle class in the 1.38-billion-person nation, trying to stage games there, and relishing the playing of European games in the early afternoon — which in turn puts those games on TV live in China in prime time.

Aiding the NFL’s China agenda will be an indoor football league backed by Ron Jaworski and Dick Vermeil, which is scheduled to finally launch its first season on October 1.

The only opposition to playing in China from within the NFL arises from not the oppressive political climate but from the amount of time it takes to get there. Not once has any team or league executive publicly asked whether doing business with China meshes with the principles for which the league stands.

Externally, the question rarely if ever gets asked. (The only item I could find online raising the issue came earlier this year from Ty Schalter of TheComeback.com.) I’m ashamed to admit that I hadn’t even thought about it until someone who works within the broader pro football machine asked me the question earlier today: Why China?

Again, the easy answer is money. The tougher questions apparently aren’t being posed directly to the NFL, and possibly never will be.

33 responses to “Why is the NFL doing business with China?

  1. The NFL seemingly cares more about that “Almighty Dollar” or Yen or Wan, or whatever they currency in China is, than the other things that many of the rest of us care about.

  2. we may very well have a serious conflict with China over their one sided annexations in the South China Sea …. we deployed B-1s B-2s and B-52s to Guam in the last few days….

    it’s dissapointing that the NFL continues to just hide their head in the sand about China so they might make some bucks 10 years from now…..

    but hey, I guess I’ll dream about being able to take my family of 4 to US games one day when we can afford an extra $500 a week / $2000 a month to do so… wow did the NFL get greedy

  3. The same reason Disney just built a $6B park in Beijing. Because there are a billion consumers. You just have to sell a little bit of your soul to get access to them.

  4. I’d say that if you’re going to start going after companies doing business in China, that’s a pretty long list. The ignorance of the author and the vaguely racist first poster, Knew8411, sadly says a lot about where we are in the US today. By the way, it’s the Yuan and it affects the US and global economy a great deal. Sad our education system in the country is this bad.

  5. Two key lines of suggestion from the article:

    “Make football a global ambassador for liberty and equality.”…

    “If the NFL has the fortitude to do that, millions back home will stand up and cheer.”

    Why change the world for the better through football? Because it can be done.

  6. Broaden the question to, “Why does America do business with China”?

    Answer: they own us. We are a line item on page 17, section C.

  7. Why is the NFL doing business with China?

    If the NFL ever can establish a foothold in the most populace nation on the planet, a billion-dollar enterprise will move much more quickly toward becoming a trillion-dollar behemoth.


  8. The Goodell regime has been obsessed with China for years. I cannot at all imagine anyone outside Park Ave wanting anything to do with it. You’re talking 24+ hours of travel, more home games given up by franchises, and a population that has no attachment to football whatsoever. It’s a dumb idea, buried inside a disaster waiting to happen, sprinkled with stupid sauce.

    Then again, he did send Mike Kensil to China to lay the foundation. He can’t possibly want it done that badly if he sends his least competent henchman.

  9. Money! They are our “motherland” now that they own us so we should give them the opportunity to watch our favorite past time..

  10. The United States has no sort of moral authority to be chastising the Chinese. The US is a corporate authoritarian state with a sham democracy that is bought and paid for by the elite. If the US really cared about human rights we wouldn’t be doing business with Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

  11. I generally don’t want to politicize all of the things as today’s Social Justice Warriors often do, but I’m glad you’re bringing attention to China’s lovely human rights record. This point was widely ignored in the NBA’s virtue-signalling with their All-Star Game and North Carolina’s HB2 law (never mind they still have a team located in the state). That same “brave” and “heroic” NBA is still happily lapping up that sweet, sweet Chinese market money.

  12. Because if there is a buck to be made Mr. Integrity will negotiate with any bloody dictator he can find.

  13. Just like the NBA who won’t play it’s All Star Game in North Carolina but will play exhibition games in China. They’ll take a stand as long as it doesn’t cost them money.

  14. A place where the populace is lied to at will and history is rewritten to serve an unaccountable leadership is catnip to a guy like Goodell.

  15. The NFL selling out games in London.
    The NFL cozying up with China.
    You know Toronto, perhaps you should actually show you like the sport of football.
    Your getting pushed to the background VERY quickly.

  16. By raising this question about the NFL, I assume you first determined that NBC has never had a business relationship with China (or China-based companies) and/or never made any money from work in China.

  17. Goodell would do a deal with the devil if it can earn the league a buck…..that’s why the owners pay him 40 million a yr…

  18. MichaelEdits says:
    Aug 15, 2016 5:58 PM
    I just wonder how many of the people participating in this discussion have ever been to China.

    I go to China 3-4 times per year….. The people there couldn’t care less about the NFL…. And the trip is brutal…..12 hour time difference….

  19. Once again, it’s the arrogance of the NFL. Just because the game is popular here doesn’t mean it will must see in China.

  20. NFL suspends players for drug violations and takes the phony “moral high ground” against domestic violence but is willing to prostitute themselves to a country that imprisons political dissidents and persecutes Christians. What depth is there to some people’s lust for more and more dollars? Goodell is making himself and many others gluttonously wealthy while destroying the game. All about money now.

  21. Will Goodell attempt blackmail by challenging china’s transgender discrimination, forced abortions or human rights violations?

    It’s pretty sad that they will force North Carolina over transgender issues, but blindly accept China’s human rights violations.

    But that’s what democrats do. Hate America but love dictators who have far worse human rights violations.

    I sure hope this post is allowed free speech.

  22. NFL is just doing what every other American company is doing, sending the money and jobs over seas. The Greed is amazing and sad. And just FYI, every owner is 100% behind the effort to remove games from American cities, as many games as possible.

  23. Why is everyone mad they are trying to expand their brand to China? Our own goverment has borrowed trillions from them and no one is talking about that. Countless american companies do business with China but for some reason the NFL shouldn’t? SMH

  24. I worked for Sandia National Labs when the Wen Ho Lee scandal (Google that and Los Alamos) hit the “media”… because those guys always know what’s important…

    But anyway, we’ve given the country of China so much profitable information it’s not even funny. This dates back to the Carter administration. There must be some really amazing reason you’d sell out your own country… $$$???

    SO yeah, seeing the NFL chase Chinese money? Not a surprise. At all.

  25. Again, the easy answer is money. The tougher questions apparently aren’t being posed directly to the NFL, and possibly never will be.

    The tougher questions are left to the true Patriot’s in our country. And no that’s not a double entendre (New England)…as much as I enjoy inserting those into the dialogue.

    Don’t ever stop being a true Patriot, Florio. The true Patriot’s voice is fading out in the mainstream.

  26. The NFL has no guiding morals or principles except to maximize profit. They will grandstand on leftist issues when there is no cost (or perhaps even the chance to profit) and quietly take the opposite stance if the money is other that way. To see it through any other lens is to be naive.

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