The national anthem football game protests, sparked by the 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick earlier this season, has officially hit the NFL in its financial pockets. Since the beginning of the kneeling during our nation’s patriotic theme song, NFL’s TV ratings have dropped by about 12 percent this year.
841 adults across the U.S. were polled by Seton Hall to identify seven different factors for the ratings drop. The leading factor, unsurprisingly, was the national anthem protests, which scored “yes” at 56 percent. It’s clear by the poll results that many Americans view the players’ national anthem protest as a sign of disrespect to the American flag.
In another survey by CBS, the NFL’s decisions to allow players to protest the national anthem but disallow the Dallas Cowboys from honoring fallen police officers with a decal on their helmets as a “tipping point” to their decline in viewership. The NFL has been one of the country’s most popular forms of American entertainment and staple to iconic sports, and the infusion of social and political issues into the broadcasts has turned a significant amount of American fans away.
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