DirecTV is making an unprecedented offer to its customers who were upset by NFL players’ mass kneeling-protests during the playing of the national anthem on Sunday — they’re going to give a refund.
Subscribers who decide it’s time to cancel their NFL Sunday Ticket package may do so if they cite the players’ protest as the reason, DirecTV customer service representatives told The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.
The $280 package typically cannot be canceled once the season is underway, but football players last Sunday caused so much outrage among fans that the company likely had many subscribers want to discontinue the NFL service.
After President Trump challenged NFL owners to fire players who don’t stand during the pregame tribute last week, many players doubled down. More of the high-paid athletes decided to kneel, as well, and one team — The Pittsburgh Steelers — even hid in the locker room while “The Star-Spangled Banner” played, in an effort to stay out of the controversy.
Fans booed players in some stadiums, and people on both sides of the controversy took to social media in support of either veterans and patriotism or the players’ right to protest.
According to a Reuters poll, a majority of Americans disagree with President Trump. The poll revealed that 57 percent of adults surveyed do not think the NFL should fire players who kneel, noting a sizable split down party lines. The libertarian think tank, Cato Institute, said 61 percent of adults oppose firing the players.
However, when conservative Americans were surveyed, as seen in a Remington Research Group poll, nearly two-thirds of Americans believed NFL players should stand and be respectful during the anthem. Apparently, respondents thought players should be respectful but probably didn’t think to fire them, based solely on their protest, was an appropriate reaction.
An NFL spokesperson told ESPN that ratings were up 3 percent this week over last year’s performance; partly because of Monday’s Dallas Cowboys’ game, and partly because some people just wanted to tune in at the beginning of the games to see what NFL players would do when the national anthem was played.
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