Whereas the National Hockey League can lock out players and thus jeopardize the whole season for the second time in a decade;
Whereas the owner of Manchester United can plunge one of the richest clubs in the world into massive debt by acquiring it through a leveraged buyout;
Whereas cities are cornered into spending hundreds of millions of dollars on stadiums to hold on to major league franchises while park and recreation departments get their budgets slashed;
Whereas beer costs eight dollars a pint and your typical college or pro football game is marred by nearly an hour of commercial interruptions;
Whereas players act as though we are the ones who should be grateful;
Whereas Newcastle United, which is located in one of the most depressed parts of England, signed a shirt sponsorship deal with a payday loan company;
Whereas college football and men’s basketball coaches make millions a year while tuition costs rise dramatically and classroom sizes increase;
Whereas stadia are named after corporations rather than civic leaders or war vets, and you don’t know what half of them are named anymore;
Whereas players don’t give their all in the regular season despite the fact that fans spend a fortune on tickets and concessions;
Whereas corporations get to write off the cost of their luxury boxes while the national debt increases;
Whereas Oklahoma State and Florida State scheduled a college football game against a team, Savannah State, that had no hope of scoring, let alone competing;
Whereas, in sum, owners, players, coaches, agents, TV networks and numerous others get to make a fortune, literally, at the expense of fans,

We hereby decline to purchase any merchandise produced by our favorite college or professional teams. No more shirts, jackets, pennants, coffee mugs, or build-a-bears (which my daughter recently suckered her grandfather into buying at AT&T Park). We can’t stop watching our favorite teams (or refrain from spending $8 on pints)—that’s the core of being a fan—but we can stop lining the pockets of all the people who are exploiting our loyalty.

~ Ken Pendleton