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National Anthem Protests Killed NFL Viewership

National Anthem Protests Killed NFL Viewership

No one wants social justice mixed with their football

We’ve had several discussions on how the over politicalization of sports is killing viewership, putting channels like ESPN in jeopardy.

No one wants political toxicity infiltrating America’s favorite past times. And Americans especially tend not to appreciate when anti-patriotic garbage becomes widely accepted in professional sports, like oh, say, NFL players protesting the national anthem.

In a recent survey conducted by J.D. Powers, former NFL viewers cited national anthem protests as the biggest reason for tuning out.

ESPN reported:

National anthem protests were the top reason that NFL fans watched fewer games last season, according to a new survey released by J.D. Power.

The pollster said it asked more than 9,200 people who attended either one football, basketball or hockey game whether they tuned into fewer games and why. Twenty-six percent of those who watched fewer games last season said that national anthem protests, some of which were led by Colin Kaepernick, were the reason.

After that, 24 percent of those surveyed who said they watched fewer games said they did so either because of the league’s off-the-field image issues with domestic violence or with game delays, including penalties.

NFL game viewership on networks that broadcast games was down an average of 8 percent for the 2016 regular season versus the season before. Before the election (Nov. 8), games for the first nine weeks were down 14 percent compared to 2015. The final eight weeks saw only a drop of 1 percent compared to Weeks 10-17 in 2015.

American sports have always been an escape from the mundanity and stress of the daily grind. As politics grow more contentious and social justice causes continue their slow spread into every facet of life, the public seems to have less and less tolerance for this kind of junk in their sports. But I doubt the NFL or ESPN have learned this lesson yet.

Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye


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It was not just the players. The NFL tolerated this anti-American crap. Let’s see if they can un-ring a bell. Or if they even try.

A month of pink towels in a 13 week season… for the Womenz… nah… the NFL isn’t going to change crap… they’re fully committed to inclusion and hating on their core fan base. Sad.

    jhn107 in reply to RobM. | July 28, 2017 at 11:13 pm

    Just like Nascar — they’ve forgotten who their fan base it — and they’ll price in ticket sales because of it.

    jhn107 in reply to RobM. | July 28, 2017 at 11:17 pm

    Just like Nascar — they’ve forgotten who their fan base it — and they’ll pay the price in ticket sales because of it.

    Jackie in reply to RobM. | July 29, 2017 at 6:01 am

    I gave up football and was happier for it. There was a time I couldn’t sleep if my team lost. I have to thank Colin and the NFL for driving me away.

    herm2416 in reply to RobM. | July 29, 2017 at 10:53 am

    Which is especially irksome when one learns that Komen threatened the NFL if they DIDN’T “sponsor” BCAwareness month–like no one has ever heard of BC…and I say this as a woman. I will NEVER donate to Komen, too political. It has long since moved past being solely about BC and BC research.

    4th armored div in reply to RobM. | July 29, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    when tix sales and ad rates go DOWN – we will see who gets the big saleries…
    ESPN will go out of business – there is always youtube CAM recordings and free TV (does that even exist in the age of cable ?)

So Tebow kneels as a personal gesture in respect to God and country and that makes him anathema. Kaepernick kneels as a public gesture insulting his country in general and police in particular (based on the BLM lies) and he is supposed to be a hero? Man, does this country have its values upside down or what?

    No Phil… the story on the ratings proves… BLM and Colin on his knee hurt ratings. The country is just fine. The NFL and Espn, etc, are infected with a virus and dare not embrace their audience. ( NASCAR going thru same affliction btw )

    The nation is good to go. It’s the 20% that run networks and Hollywood and produce TV shows that just gotta punish the regular folks with political correctness.

    plauer in reply to Pasadena Phil. | July 29, 2017 at 2:34 am

    The surest way to destroy a concept is to regularize disrespect for it. The only question is, does ESPN and the NFL have deep enough pockets to complete the job ?

      notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to plauer. | July 29, 2017 at 12:50 pm

      No. They’ve got holes in their pockets now.

      Let the MSM Implosion Continue!

It’s all anti white, anti American

I thought it was hilarious that Michael Vick gave Kap some really good advice, start with cutting your hair..
Even Vick had to apologize for such an anti Black comment…

And Jesus, they have obama fest articles endlessly and needless to say anti Trump 24/7…

Nope, not going to change…

    The best advice Vick could have given Pumpernickel, or whatever his name is: dump your psycho girlfriend – the one who got you into this leftist crap.

    Pumpernickel: goodbye.

The name is Coppernickel, not Pumpernickel. Get your facts straight, Fine.

    redc1c4 in reply to frankiefrank. | July 28, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    more like “Copperhead”, IMHO.

    we watch the Western Channel on Fall Sundays from now on.

    Really? I thought it was Capoopanickel?

    Eh, not important, anyway. The guy’s gonna be a distant, irrelevant memory, except as a warning to wanna be morons looking to destroy their multilmillion dollar sports careers.

      4th armored div in reply to | July 29, 2017 at 5:07 pm

      the morons are the people who pay him weekly.
      sporting events have always been patriotic events.
      when the owners permitted this to continue, without saying ‘my way or the highway’, they became complicit.

      if this POS was a star player and could deliver audience, despite his anti Americanism, i could understand, not agree, but understand – he should just be benched and traded (but who would want him, maybe oakland, chicago or any other predominantly 1/2 black town)

ugottabekiddinme | July 28, 2017 at 10:06 pm

Heck, the NFL was the sole reason I kept shelling out for cable these last few years. But after Crappernick and ESPN’s leftward ho?

I have cut the cable. All will be well.

inspectorudy | July 28, 2017 at 10:38 pm

I remember when the first NFL game I saw had this crap in it and I turned it off. Remember when the Cowboys tried to wear socks honoring cops? Socks! For God’s sake! But the NFL said no. No honoring the cops because more than half of their players are felons. I still admire Tebow for his devotion to his religion and in the great scheme of things did his kneeling take any more time than one of the hot shots dancing in the end zone? From my point of view, the NFL should say ABSOLUTELY no protests or political statements of any kind allowed on the field. Play football and let the fans enjoy the mayhem.

Pelosi Schmelosi | July 28, 2017 at 11:25 pm

While it’s true that politics destroys everything, the NFL has other issues as well. When you can’t decide what a catch is, or what pass interference looks like, and decisive video replay proves “inconclusive”, you’ve now ruined the sport itself. Dunno about you but screaming at a TV because some referee blows a call, and some “arbiter” located 2000 miles away can’t get a simple call right isn’t my idea of a pleasant Sunday (or Monday or Thursday)

I stopped watching ESPN as soon as it went left. That is a dozen games per year. So that goes back about 7 years when the channel went insane. Now they are all on blackout.

* SHRUG * … Its liberalism stupid… I’ll bet this came as quite the shock to SJW everywhere … Which in and of its self is amusing …. If liberalism can lay waste to entire cities and populations ( blacks … Detroit Camden Baltimore Washington DC Chicago Philly etc ) screwing up the NFL and sports in general ( men competing as women etc ) is mere childs play.

Some further thoughts … You now have folks in and out of NFL who are all in a lather screaming this putz is being blackballed because of what he did … Well its going to take a special kind of stupid for any NFL team owner to sign on to a suicide pact or if not a death wish ( as it were ) at least the financial equivalent to shooting a few toes off … Does this special kind of stupid exist in the NFL … Yep the only question is how much are they willing to lose to be able to trot it out and display it to the world.They wont get much support from liberals as far as eyes on screen watching ole colin either as the liberals are doing their very best to kill football at every level … Just far to much unbridled testosterone on display and that frightens the average liberal male or female or what ever the hell it is they decide they are going to be on any given day when and if they decide to roll out of bed which is another issue … The NFL is pandering to a group of people who taken as a group would just as soon see the league turned into a transgendered SJW infested knitting circle and seem to be going out of their way to piss off the beer swilling pick up truck driving uncouth insensitive louts who brought them to the dance… * SHRUG * … There just seems to be no accounting for stupid … Insane or the insanely stupid

Last year, I tuned out 2/3 of the games and my Sundays were relaxing and I didn’t have blood pressure spikes and finally started watching because my Atlanta Falcons were doing real good and the hype and buzz at work. This year, I may not tune in at all, I found out that I get a lot of stuff done and I do more in the “Real world” rather than sit on the couch and watch football.

DirectTV hardest hurt. How many of their subscribers were just paying for the service so they could get the football package every fall?

Sorry, I’ll continue to watch because I enjoy it. I don’t care what Colin says or does, I ignore him because to do otherwise gives him a tiny spot in my life.

I so much preferred the kneeling. Please, Colin, don’t stop kneeling before me.

He’ll land on some team, the NFL will pay for it, just like when someone had to bit the bullet and draft the gay guy. Oh Lord, we would not have heard the end of it if he had not been drafted. They were able to cut him without nearly the fanfare.

    I doubt it. The NFL wants him to just go away at this point. I suspect that many of the owners are tired of players who have a political agenda and come with a three-ring circus attached. We have to start ridding our daily lives of politics. Everything can’t be about politics. We have enough problems to deal with already. Give us a break.

Phil … To late … When we are discussing men in womens rooms *SHRUG *

And water is wet…

Football is a game for tough men. There is no place for weakness of body or mind. PC is a weakness of mind.

I would submit that their numbers are likely too low. They polled people who attended at least one game. Based on the costs associated with attending games, these are die hard fans and completely misses people who rarely attend games (like me), or those who eschewed attending games as a result of the protests.

I would submit that if they polled people who enjoy NFL football, but don’t generally or didn’t last year attend any games, the percentage of people who reduced their consumption of NFL games as a direct result of the politicization would be much higher.

Trust, once lost, is difficult to rebuild. Don’t expect NFL ratings to come back overnight, even if the NFL forbids these kinds of SJW displays in the future.