Al Michaels, a legendary sports broadcaster and announcer, told the Philadelphia Inquirer the reason for plummeting “Sunday Night Football” ratings has been a result of President Donald Trump's comments toward those who choose to disrespect the flag.
Ratings have been down 8 percent compared to last year, but “Sunday Night Football” is still on the top of the charts for prime-time programs. Michaels defended his program, saying, “It's number one and it's getting bashed because the ratings are down. Two or three years ago, the ratings were so spectacular that there had to be a little bit of a diminishment at some point.”
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Then, Michaels went on:
"Once the president made those remarks in Alabama, at that particular point it was like throwing a match into a gas tank.
During the off-season, both sides just have to sit down and figure out a way to make this a situation where it doesn't overwhelm the conversation about the NFL."
However, following Trump's comments, when hundreds of players protested the national anthem, networks chose to broadcast and show the kneeling players. Since then, ratings have crashed, and fans have boycotted. As a result, networks have opted out of showing the national anthem altogether in an attempt to save their fan bases.
Recently, the NFL has emerged as one of the most divisive brands in the league, causing fans to abandon watching the sport. Despite all of this, Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL have chosen to allow the protests to continue.