On Sunday, there were more national anthem protests before NFL games than we've ever seen before, as players, coaches, owners, and even full teams protested together.
If you were only paying attention to how the media was reacting to it, you might be led to believe that most people supported the protests, but a new survey tends to disagree.
The survey was conducted by Remington Research Group, and it found that a whopping 64 percent of American voters side with President Donald Trump and would like NFL players to stand for the national anthem. It doesn't end there, however.
The survey also concluded, based on the research, that 80 percent of voters want “less politics” involved in sports, and a whole 51 percent of people say they are watching less football than they used to.
Among the 51 percent saying they watch less football than they used to, 69 percent of them stated the reason was “players using the NFL as a stage for their political views.”
During the game between the New England Patriots and Houston Texans on Sunday, many players knelt, but it was the fans who were the real story. They booed and screamed “stand up” at the players on their knees. Watch:
The NFL has been the ultimate victim in the drama, as it has reported very low ratings recently. Deadline reports:
In metered market numbers, the primetime match-up between the 27-10 winning Washington Redskins and the Oakland Raiders snared an 11.6/20.
The worst Sunday Night Football has performed this season so far, that's an 8% dip from the early numbers of last week's Atlanta Falcons' 34-23 win over the Green Bay Packers. Gaining cheers and boos from fans at FedEx Field in Maryland last night, the third week of SNF for the 2017-2018 season declined 10% from early numbers of the comparable game of last year on September 25, 2016.
Last night's Sunday Night Football peaked with a 12.5/20 during the second quarter at 9 – 9:30 PM ET. Not that such a number can feel good to the NFL with ratings down double-digits this season so far after taking a similar tackle last year.
The Daily Caller reports:
The survey appears to contradict the popular media narrative that public opinion was on the side of the players kneeling during the anthem. ESPN’s day-long coverage of Trump and the NFL on Monday was almost exclusively negative.
The poll results caused ESPN contributor Will Cain to suggest on Tuesday whether ESPN’s journalists are living in a “media bubble” that leaves them out of touch with public opinion.
“All I'm telling you is that I believe often in the Northeast we live in a media bubble or even a cultural bubble in the Northeast, we are greatly underestimating the resentment in the public evidenced by Villanueva's jersey sales [and] the ratings.”
It will be interesting to see what will happen to the NFL ratings as the season moves on with more and more protests.