Commercial airlines reportedly drop 8 NFL teams but not because of anthem protests

Eight NFL teams were dropped by commercial airline carriers that offered chartered flights, reports ESPN's Adam Schefter. However, the reasons hare nothing to do with recent pregame protests in the wake of President Trump's controversial remarks but instead are strictly financial: The airlines can make more money flying those same planes commercially.

According to Schefter, American Airlines dropped the Dolphins, Steelers, Cardinals, Ravens, Colts and Jaguars AND United Airlines dropped the Bills and Lions.

These teams are now scrambling to find alternative charters, often with smaller airlines, which include Atlas and Omni Air International, which give priority to military charters. Schefter adds that the Bills flew to Atlanta on two NBA-owned planes operated by Delta.

This development comes almost six months after Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio reported that "roughly 20 teams may end up without charter arrangements for the 2017 season," and cited the Cardinals, Ravens, Colts, Jaguars, Dolphins, and Steelers among them.

At the time, Florio wrote, "The reason given for the suspension of service is that the airline lacks the machinery to do the job."

Teams are now concerned about potential mechanical issues affecting their ability to travel because the smaller carriers have fewer planes.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories