The 2020 NFL season will coincide with November’s presidential election between incumbent Donald Trump (R) and challenger Joe Biden (D). We already know about all of the backstories here. That includes a rift between President Trump and the powers that be within the NFL’s league office in New York City.
Speaking of said offices, they will be closed on Nov. 3 when Americans take to polling stations around the United States and either decide four more years of Trump or go in another direction with Biden. All team facilities will also be closed. With that said, one major event on the NFL’s calendar will still take place.
NFL to hold trade deadline on election day
The NFL is preparing teams for Election Day closures on Nov. 3, but the business of football will not stop that day. The league memo sent out Wednesday regarding closing all league and club facilities for Election Day did not mention that Nov. 3 was also the trade deadline,” NFL Media’s Kevin Patra noted this week.
The NFL has made it clear this year that it supports the Black Lives Matter movement and the ongoing protests against police brutality in the United States. In particular, commissioner Roger Goodell took this stand earlier in the year.
By closing their office in New York City and all 32 team facilities, the league is now making it clear that voting takes precedence over most things football related. Of course, that doesn’t include the trade deadline itself.
Previous years have seen an uptick in action during the trade deadline. With team facilities now closed, we have no idea what the impact might be. Teams could very conduct business as if Nov. 2 is the deadline. Either way, it adds a whole new layer to the increasing politicization of football today.
NFL ratings down amid national anthem protests
The one major backdrop here is the decrease in television ratings around the NFL as players protest during the national anthem. The first Monday night of the season saw a dramatic decrease from the 2019 campaign. And while this past Thursday’s game between the Browns and Bengals actually saw somewhat of an increase, the overall trend is down.
As for the trade deadline still being held on election day, there’s not too much we can read into it at this point. The NFL probably just figured it made no sense to push the deadline back.
Closing the league’s office and team facilities is of bigger relevance right now. That’s especially true given how outspoken NFL teams, players and the league as a whole have been over the past several months.