In the last year, NFL stadiums have become synonymous with loud, painted-belly fans, domestic beer, bone-breaking entertainment, and protests. Lots and lots of protests.
Taking a knee, refusing to stand, disrespecting the flag.
It all started with Colin Kaepernick, but sadly, the tradition of focusing on anything but football has not ended with the kneeling, mediocre, unemployed quarterback.
And we now see the result of this distraction from football…the NFL is losing fans.
Just look at the game last night — the New England Patriots against the Kansas City Chiefs.
According to Deadline, the ratings were low:
[W]ith a 14.6/25 in meter-market ratings, the beginning of the new NFL season was not exactly a winner for the league and NBC.
While better than anything on any of the Big 4 have done in the overnights in months, those numbers are down a sobering 12% from the early results of the Denver Broncos’ tight 21-20 victory over the Carolina Panthers in last year’s kickoff on September 8, 2016.
Long season short, that’s not a good start for either the NFL or networks hoping to gain some traction from last year’s ratings blows.
To put some greater context, the 2016 kickoff game, which was down from both the 2015 and the 2014 openers, went on to snare a 9.4/33 rating among adults 18-49 and 25.19 million viewers. With the Super Bowl 50 champs 10-points down at one point before surging for the win, the Broncos vs. Panthers opener was the fourth year in a row that a NFL kickoff game topped 25 million viewers. With 27.5 million sets of eyeballs, the 2010 kickoff game between the New Orleans Saints and the Minnesota Vikings still holds the record for most watched season opener since the Thursday traditional started in 2002.
This shouldn’t be too terribly shocking.
When a sports league opens their stadiums to activist performances, it can and will overshadow athletic performances.
The NFL has become a circus.
And it doesn’t look like it is ending anytime soon.
In fact, just last night, Kansas City cornerback Marcus Peters sat during the national anthem.
He joins the notorious group of Colin Kaepernick and Marshawn Lynch.
Before the game last night, he tweeted the above photo to his followers on Twitter–his cleats with the words “liberty” and “justice for all,” and wrote, “Stand for what you stand in. If you see the potential for good, speak up. Don’t be Quiet. @Fam1stfam #adidasPharrellWilliams”
Because the best place to take a stand is in your thousand-dollar pair of cleats while you’re paid millions to play football.
Instead of holding a press conference, drafting a speech, donating money to particular causes you believe in, or combating said “problems” with your time, you decide to sit on your backside and disrespect the American flag.
Is the American flag the problem? No.
Is this country the problem? No.
This country is one of the few places in this world that you can openly question, challenge, and protest.
This country provides greater freedoms than anyone has ever dreamed.
And one of those freedoms include not watching the NFL because the players and the league are the most unpatriotic athletes in the nation.
Do you agree?