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FansUnited.org speaks out on behalf of fans on “KneelGate”

Calls for Separation of Sports and State, for POTUS to apologize for his SOB reference, for owners to ensure more “respectful” behavior, and for fans to share their views via survey

CHEVY CHASE, Md., Sept. 28, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- When FansUnited.org rang the opening bell of the Nasdaq Market on Times Square on July 31, 2017 to mark their launch, little did they know that they would be thrust into KneelGate (aka a war of words between President Trump and NFL Owners/Players over perceived disrespect for the US Flag and Anthem) in the weeks that followed. 

Separation of Sports and State
Can they coexist?


/EIN News/ -- A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/dcdd4c6e-fea9-4ad9-9c54-d1be6f33bd36.

Not surprisingly, the players were offended by the President’s SOB comments and insensitivity toward their plight.  They closed ranks and took to social media in an escalation of words.  As they always do, the owners moved quickly to protect their financial interests – in this case their bread and butter, the players.  In an array of protests over the weekend, the owners and players joined forces to send a message to the President with a relatively small number of players actually choosing to kneel during the anthem/flag ceremony.

Now comes FansUnited.org to speak on behalf of the fans.  In a series of remarks, Patrick Healy, Founder and CEO of FansUnited.org said the following on behalf of the fans:

  • “There is no issue of free speech here.  Everyone fully recognizes the first amendment rights of the players and owners to voice their protest.  The only issue here is - have they done so respectfully?” 
  • “So, too, the President along with all elected officials has the right of free speech to express their views.  We believe that labeling the players SOB’s is neither professional nor respectful and that he should apologize.”
  • “We as fans simply want to enjoy the game not the sideshow.  We object to being used as political pawns in this giant chess match.”
  • “As has been the case in countless instances from Stadium Funding to Team Relocation to Financial Disclosure…. the fans have had no collective voice for their views to be represented in the discussion and related policy decisions.  All that ends now with the birth of FansUnited.org. which believes that: 
    • Personal political agendas have no place in sports.  Our passion for our respective teams has been hijacked by opportunists who seek political gain.  Regardless of how the poll results stack up, it is safe to say that a very large portion of the fan base is offended and it is incumbent upon the owners to address it.  The time has come for the owners (collectively and individually on the record) to promptly put forth a solution that removes this unwelcome albatross on the back of the fans.
    • The leagues and teams have taken massive amounts of public money and have enjoyed unprecedented latitude while largely operating as cartels.  No other industry in America has been granted such freedom. In fact, MLB still enjoys an inexplicable anti-trust exemption.  The fans would like to remind the owners that they exist only because we allow them to do so and that these privileges (which has made many of them billionaires) can be modified at any time. 
  • Before this controversy erupted last Friday, FansUnited.org had already begun to put up on its site (FansUnited.org) two surveys:
    • A Fans Bill of Rights, and
    • A Fan Performance Review for Roger Goodell

This evening we will be adding a third survey dealing with this “KneelGate” controversy.  We will provide periodic updates to the media regarding the results as our member base builds,” Healy said.

In one final comment, Healy added: “With the advent of technology and social media, the time has come to shift from an owner centric cartel model for sports to a fan centric model.  We believe that the silver lining of this controversy is that it has served to underscore the importance of shifting the focus to the end user – the fans!” 

FansUnited.org is a not-for-profit association of sports fans based in Chevy Chase, MD.  We have included a link to a short overview of our story as well as a link to our Fans Bill of Rights. 

We are America’s first online democracy!

Contact:
Patrick Healy, Founder and CEO  PHealy@fansunited.com
"YY" Yilret Yiljep, Associate  YY@FansUnited.com

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Distribution channels: IT Industry, Sports, Fitness & Recreation