The NFL Should Revoke the Eagles' 2021 Draft Picks

The NFL Should Revoke the Eagles' 2021 Draft Picks

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Bill Landis started this petition to NFL

We, the fans of the National Football League, demand that the NFL take decisive and severe action against the Philadelphia Eagles organization for their blatant violation of the spirit of competition and fair play in their nationally-televised Jan 3, 2021 game against the Washington Football Team, in the form of revoking the Eagles' 2021 first- and second-round draft picks.

"Tanking" is antithetical to the sport and completely inappropriate in this moment.

After a year of great loss for so many, the NFL's triumphant return provided a lift to millions of fans around the country. To end this pandemic-impacted season, in particular, with a nationally-televised stunt of blatant unsportsmanlike conduct by the Eagles organization, intentionally trying to lose by the selection of their on-field players compared to their bench and healthy inactives, is reprehensible.

What did we see happen... and why???

The Eagles organization gained the 6th overall draft position in the 2021 NFL draft due to their loss, leapfrogging the Detroit Lions and Carolina Panthers organizations. We believe that was the absolute intent of the Eagles front office upon entering their Week 17 game. The product the Eagles decision-makers put on the field in the final 18 minutes of their game proves their intent. Foregoing points and benching their best offensive player in the game in favor of an unprepared and undeserving third-string backup who promptly created two turnovers in the 4th quarter was a shameful and despicable stunt to rob fans of the NFL of a competitive season finale while ensuring the Lions and Panthers draft positions would fall.

Why is this such a problem?

The Eagles organization disrespected the entire country in their final regular season game. Gifted the opportunity to play in front of a live national audience, which has suffered deeply from the impacts of COVID-19, the Eagles coaches denied the public a competitive and compelling end to the NFL regular season. Despite their immense privilege to play this game while so many have lost so much and continue to suffer losses, the Eagles slapped all of us in the face by shamefully coaching to lose for their own future reward.

What happens if this misconduct goes unpunished?

If the NFL fails to take action against the Eagles organization, the NFL risks establishing a precedent that obvious on-field "tanking" is an acceptable strategy in the league. If tanking becomes normalized, the games become less compelling and more predictable, therefore impacting viewership, fandom, and future revenues, including the emergence of sports betting around the country.

What needs to be done about it?

We are fans of the NFL because of the competition and high-level athleticism the league broadcasts around the world and we will not stand for draft-position-jockeying in place of true competition. Send a clear message to the rest of the league that the spirit of competition is worth more than a slightly-improved draft class by revoking the Eagles 2021 first- and second-round draft picks.

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