The reality hasn’t sunk in yet. Teams that allow their players to take a knee are losing attendees and TV viewers in alarming numbers. On Thursday night, the SF Forty Niners and the LA Rams played before a stadium that was only half-full. The TV ratings are down 24 percent this year over last year and are the worst since 1998, when there were only 375.9 million Americans compared to the 324.3 million this year, a difference of almost 49 million people.
Yesterday, all but three teams hit back against President Trump’s tirade against those who would dishonor the military. The only three teams who didn’t are the Carolina Panthers, The New York Jets and the Dallas Cowboys.
The Cowboys come as no surprise since team owner Jerry Jones expressed his strong views on players who kneel. No Cowboy has taken a knee:
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“I do not think the place to express yourself in society is as we recognize the American flag,” Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told FOX Business’ Cheryl Casone last week at a gala celebrating the 100-year anniversary of Forbes magazine. “So that’s not the place to do anything other than honor the flag and everybody that’s given up a little bit for it.”
Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, who also co-founded Home Depot (HD), had a slightly different take, telling Casone players should still have the right to demonstrate their beliefs.
“I think we have to celebrate their right to express themselves, as every American does,” Blank told Casone at the event.
No one can deny that players have the right to protest. Many members of our military have fought and died for that right for all Americans. But, do players have the absolute right to do it before or during a game on the field? No, they do not. What the players do can very well affect the fortunes of the teams they play for.
Ordinary citizens like you and me can be fired for expressing our political opinions at work, especially if it means our companies are losing business. Why would it be any different for football players?
There is no doubt that the protests are costing teams money. Liberals and team management try to say that is not the case and that people just don’t have the time to watch their games. In 2016 the numbers grew considerably and this year even mediocre games are drawing a million viewers.
The Week 2 NFL singleheader window delivered an 8.4 rating and 14.5 million viewers on CBS Sunday, down 24% in ratings and viewership from last year on FOX (11.0, 19.2M) and down 14% and 13% respectively from 2015 on CBS (9.8, 16.7M).
The 8.4 rating is the lowest for the Week 2 singleheader since at least 1998. The first two NFL windows on CBS this season have both declined double-digits to multi-year lows.
Do you watch less NFL football and if you do is the reason you are boycotting the NFL due to the protests or for some other reason? Let us know in the comment section.
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