Hip Hop mogul Sean Combs, better known as Diddy, is looking to give athletes a new outlet to protest.
In the wake of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sending out a letter that implores all 32 teams to stand for the national anthem, Diddy took to Instagram to announce that he wants a league of his own.
The post shows a headline referencing the letter sent out by Goodell. After weeks of controversy involving players taking a knee or remaining in the locker room during the national anthem, Goodell wanted the league to stand together by, well, standing together during the national anthem.
This letter didn’t sit well with many, including Diddy, who posted the following caption:
“I did have a dream to own a nfl lteam but after this post my DREAM IS TO OWN OUR OWN LEAGUE. WHERE YOU CAN BE YOURSELF. Have a retirement plan. Have the freedom to be a great human and protest for your people without being demonized for your beliefs as a KING!!!!! New dream alert!!!!! Sell me the NFL NOW!!!! #fuckthat #takedat AND FOR THE RECORD IM NOT EVEN MAD. ITS OUR FAULT FOR NOT HAVING THE COURAGE OUR ANCESTORS HAD!!!!! Maaaaaaan!!!! #TAKEDAT AGAIN”
Unfortunately, there’s no chance that Diddy is able to purchase the NFL. The average NFL team is worth $2.5 billion. With 32 teams in the league, that adds up to Diddy needing $80 billion to purchase every team in the league.
Diddy is worth less than $1 billion.
While him purchasing the entire NFL is out of the question, the possibility of a Bad Boy Football League is real.
Back in 2001, WWE owner Vince McMahon launched the Xtreme Football League, hoping to be a viable contender to the NFL. The league was a joint effort by McMahon and NBC, with the two combining to spend $100 million to get the product off the ground. They ended up losing $35 million on their investment. Not good news, but it shows that it’s not impossible for a businessman to create a football league out of thin air.
Diddy is worth around $820 million according to Forbes, so he could feasibly invest $100 million of his own money to launch a league. But he runs into one big issue: television rights.
The XFL would not have worked without the backing of NBC and the airing of games on the network. The XFL only aired on NBC because they didn’t have the rights to NFL games, which is no longer the case today.
NBC, CBS, and FOX all have NFL airing rights. That leaves only ABC as the only major cable network without the NFL, but they are owned by the Walt Disney Company, the same company that owns ESPN. Monday Night Football is on ESPN. Logic says that ABC won’t touch another football league due to their relationship with Walt Disney and ESPN.
It’s possible that Diddy strikes a deal with a lesser television outlet or gets his league on a streaming service such as Netflix or Hulu, but the visibility of the league greatly diminishes in that case. Furthermore, unless NFL players are willing to jump ship to Diddy’s new league – that in itself it a whole different can of worms given NFL contracts – it’s going to come off as a second rate product.
Players might be able to protest freely in Diddy’s league, but how many would leave millions on the NFL table to do so?
Diddy’s best bet is to go back to his original dream of owning one NFL team and implementing change from there. Trying to buy the entire league or creating his own league from scratch is trying to run a marathon before you’re able to run a mile.
– Jeremy Lambert