National Football League’s TV ratings are down by 29% this season and a new poll reveals why people are tuning out in droves.
Yahoo! Sports commissioned a poll to find out what was keeping them from clicking their remote controls to pro football while seated on their comfy couches.
According to the poll, 17% said the election has taken attention from pro football, 28% said they simply “lost interest” in the game, 31% said a “lack of opportunity” prevented them finding a TV screen to watch, and the plurality — 40% of those surveyed — said it’s because of this guy that they tuned out:
Nearly half of those questioned said San Francisco 49ers back-up quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest is why they’ve stopped watching.
“Fox and Friends” asked the guy standing up next to Kaepernick in this photo what he thought of the protest and its impact on ratings:
“That’s what’s great about our country, you can agree, you can disagree and no one cuts your head off.”
Boyer also attributed the shedding of viewers to the fact that more people are streaming other entertainment.
Former NFL wide receiver Randal Hill said the election “soap opera” may be keeping quite a few people distracted from America’s pastime:
Hill told “Fox and Friends” that he wouldn’t join Kaepernick if he were playing right now:
“As a former federal agent, [I know] he has a right to take a knee. And everyone has the right to choose to do what they want. Me, personally, we have such people as Rosa Parks, W.E.B. DeBois, the Buffalo Soldiers. I stand for those people and I stand for this country because we have a right to take a knee, but I’m going to stand tall for this country and this flag.”
Yahoo! Sports says that the 40% of the people who tuned out due to Kaepernick’s protest in reality represent only 12% of hard core NFL fans.