The National Football League’s television ratings have declined over the last few weeks, and while the league claims that it is due to the lack of big games, we know there may be a different underlying reason. Since Colin Kaepernick’s stunt he pulled protesting the national anthem, more players have joined in similar protests, and fans are not happy. Columnist Mike Ozanian believes that #BoycottNFL is shaking things up in a bigger way than the league would have imagined.
Yet, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and certain coaches have voiced their support of the players and their protests. Chip Kelly, who leads the San Francisco 49ers and is Kaepernick’s coach, stated earlier this month, “We recognize and respect Kap’s decision, and his constitutional rights to do what he’s doing… It sounds like it’s been a positive change.”
But it looks like your average NFL viewer does not see player protests as positive, given that the Cowboys vs Bears game on Sunday night received a low rating of 6.8/21. The league’s ratings have been significantly lower in comparison to seasons past and will likely continue this downward spiral unless players reconsider anthem protests.
Has the NFL’s penchant for inserting itself into cultural issues, especially those leaning to the left, started to affect business? If you check out the NFL’s scorecard, the league’s support of anthem protests and denial of viewer decline may not come as a big shock. Perhaps consistent support for advocacy that undermines 1st and 2nd Amendment protections, supports abortion, and works to make same-sex marriage the “norm” is starting to have real consequences.