Something many industry experts never thought possible, NFL viewership is down double-digits this season in the latest Nielsen ratings.
Several theories about the big drop in ratings have been put forth including the election coverage and an overall drop in people watching television in favor of streaming services like Netflix.
However a recent poll gives a more obvious explanation for the NFL’s cratering audience numbers.
According to a recent poll by Rasmussen Reports, NFL TV ratings are dropping dramatically because fans are angry over protests by Colin Kaepernick and other players.
Nearly one-third of the adults surveyed between October 2 and 3 said they were less likely to watch NFL games because of the National Anthem and US Flag protests.
The 49ers QB stated back in August that he was not going to “stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” The team issued a statement in response, saying, in part, “…We recognize the right of an individual to choose and participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.”
Sporting News reports that the poll results broke down along racial lines. “Roughly 28 percent of African-American respondents say they’re more likely to tune in to an NFL game because of the protests vs. only 8 percent of whites and 16 percent of minorities.”
Some members of the sports media are dismissing the idea that viewers are boycotting NFL telecasts because of the Kaepernick-led player protests. They point to other explanations such as: the lack of big draws like Manning or Brady, and the millennials’ apparent preference to watch online rather than on TV.
Either way, fans are clearly upset with the NFL for “passively accepting the protests.”
One woman, who supports the #boycott NFL movement on Twitter, writes: “When I work I have to uphold the standards of my employer. If I don’t, I’m fired. Sick to death of spineless NFL.”
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