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As Backlash Against Bud Light Continues, Remember What Company Is Sponsoring the NFL Draft

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It wasn’t that long ago that the NFL was a veritably damaged brand thanks in no small part due to rampant national anthem protests in the league.

Things have largely quieted down on that noisy front since those protests began in 2016, with the NFL currently enjoying just a booming period of popularity.

But things were genuinely bad for the NFL when those protests first began. Fans left the brand in droves and it had a demonstrable financial impact on the league, all due to the actions of a rogue employee.

If that plight sounds familiar to you, you’re probably thinking of the ongoing controversy surrounding Bud Light.

Just like the NFL seven years ago, Anheuser-Busch, the parent company of Bud Light, finds itself in a similar pickle.

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Conservatives, big names, and fans alike are leaving the iconic beer in droves, leading to a ruinous $5 billion drop in market value immediately following the decision to work with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney — a “mistake” that was reportedly made by a low-level marketing staffer who didn’t put in enough thought on the matter.

If the two scenarios weren’t eerily similar enough as it were, the two entities now find themselves entangled in the same Bud Light-infused controversy thanks to the upcoming NFL Draft.

The 2023 NFL Draft is slated to begin on April 27 and conclude on April 29, and NFL fans have eagerly been thinking about it since the Super Bowl ended. A cursory Google search of “NFL mock draft” will show you that there is an insatiable appetite for NFL Draft content.

There currently is no such appetite for Bud Light, but wouldn’t you know it? The beleaguered beer brand is one of the primary sponsors for the draft.

Are you boycotting the NFL?

That connection has triggered another wave of headlines, dragging the NFL into a culture war yet again.

Notable conservative-leaning outlets like Fox News, Outkick and the New York Post all saw fit to report on this sponsorship over the past week — despite Bud Light and the NFL inking their partnership in 2021.

While the Bud Light backlash has yet to really infect the NFL, the league can’t be thrilled with this association being drummed up specifically in the wake of the Mulvaney controversy.

It’s not all bad news for the two, though.

Despite backlash to Bud Light coming largely from conservative circles, a rather prominent GOP figure recently threw his weight behind Anheuser-Busch — Donald Trump Jr.

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“The company itself doesn’t participate in the same, leftist nonsense as the other big conglomerates,” Trump said on a recent episode of his own. “Frankly, they don’t participate in the same woke garbage that other people in the beer industry actually do, who are significantly worse offenders when I looked into it.”

Even among more moderate, centrist figures, Joe Rogan, the wildly popular podcaster, has also thrown support behind the beer manufacturer — though his support came more in the form of apathy.

“I think [the Bud Light controversy] goofy because I think [Mulvaney] is goofy, but if you want to hire a goofy person, who gives a s***?” Rogan asked on a recent episode of the podcast.

Goofy or not, enough people clearly care (to answer Rogan’s colorful question) about Bud Light’s association with Mulvaney that the NFL, assuredly averse to cultural controversy in 2023, is catching stray bullets simply for being associated with the damaged beer brand.

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Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics.
Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics. He graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. He is an avid fan of sports, video games, politics and debate.
Birthplace
Hawaii
Education
Class of 2010 University of Arizona. BEAR DOWN.
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, Korean
Topics of Expertise
Sports, Entertainment, Science/Tech




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