The NFL’s ratings are continuing to plummet.
Through Week 7, the league averaged 15.1 million viewers, according to Nielsen data. Last year in the same time period the NFL drew 15.87 million viewers; in 2015 that number was 18.35 million viewers. That means the league’s numbers have dropped almost 20% in the last two years.
Despite the fact that the fallout from players protesting the National Anthem has obviously damaged the league’s rapport with its fans, this past Sunday over 20 NFL players sat, took a knee, raised a fist or stayed in the tunnel during the anthem, according to AP.
As The Sporting News reported, the TV networks covering games in week 6 steadfastly refused to show the players’ protests during the National Anthem:
There were virtually no live shots of NFL players sitting, kneeling or standing Sunday during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” much less footage of fans booing players. Instead, CBS, Fox and NBC chose to stay in commercial breaks during the pregame presentation of the flag and anthem. Once they returned from commercial, network play-by-play announcers and analysts paid little or no attention to what players did on the field.
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