The NFL and several other sports organizations failed to put a lid on the anti-American protests that characterized last season’s games, and it seems to have cost them in terms of their television viewership numbers. According to a new survey by J.D. Power, sports fans who said they tuned into fewer games last season cited the national anthem protests as the primary reason why. At a time when networks like ESPN have begun devoting more resources to liberal politics, it could come as a sharp wakeup call.
The poll asked more than 9,000 people who had attended at least one football, basketball, or hockey game whether they had decreased their viewership of those sports and, if so, why. 24% of those who said they had told the pollsters that the protests – started by Colin Kaepernick in service of the Black Lives Matter agenda – were largely responsible for their choice.
Other reasons given included the NFL’s domestic violence controversies, penalties that slowed down the pace of the games, and commercials.
The NFL and liberal media observers originally blamed the decline in game viewership on the intrigue of the 2016 election, but the survey showed that it came in a distant fourth in terms of reasons. While the unprecedented Clinton/Trump election undoubtedly affected the ratings in some fashion, the survey proves that the media was not justified in ignoring the protests and their affect on viewership. Of course, they all had their own reasons for conveniently brushing it under the rug. No one wanted to admit that thousands of football fans were completely disgusted by Kaepernick’s antics, which amounted to wholesale disrespect of the American flag and everything it stands for.
Even with the hard numbers in front of them, sportswriters like those at SBNation went out of their way to conclude that the protests had no effect on viewership. And while liberals are justified in saying that they didn’t have “that much” effect, you can bet your bottom dollar that they wouldn’t treat the story this way if, say, rage over the NFL’s anti-transgender policy was the reason. No, then there would be a front page story in the next Time magazine about the new “Transgender Tipping Point” or whatever. But with this, liberal outlets will do everything they can to either ignore it or, worse, remind their readers that anyone who disagreed with the protests is a closet racist.