During the broadcast of today’s early NFL game, President Donald Trump once again expressed his disdain for athletes kneeling during the National Anthem. During the Anthem, Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson kneeled in support of social justice. Detroit Lions Quarterback Matthew Stafford was among the other kneeling players.
“No Thanks,” Trump tweeted in response to the kneeling players.
President Donald Trump has been outspoken in his dislike of kneeling players since Colin Kaepernick started the movement. Many NFL fans share the same sentiment. However, just as many support the players’ act of solidarity. For the most part, those who oppose kneeling believe it disrespects the American flag and those who died for it. Those who support the kneeling, for the most part, believe it is an act of protest in support of social justice.
NFL Ratings Decrease
Either way, it seems to have caused a decrease in viewership for the NFL. Survey Monkey sent out a survey that asked more than 17,00o people why they stopped watching the NFL. The results revealed that the majority of people who stopped watching the NFL blamed kneeling.
Of those surveyed, 32 percent claimed that they stopped watching in protest to the NFL, believing players should not kneel. On the contrary, 22 percent surveyed claimed they supported kneeling and stopped watching in solidarity with the players. Either way, whether in support or against kneeling, both result in a decrease in viewership for the NFL.
Kneeling in Protest
Colin Kaepernick started the movement of players kneeling during the national anthem in 2016. Originally, he claimed he protested against police brutality. Since then, countless athletes across almost all professional sports have adopted this form of protest in some way.
Particularly this year amidst the social unrest due to the George Floyd shooting (among others), athletes have taken even more of a stance for social justice and against police brutality. In fact, several NBA teams boycotted their playoff games in response to the social unrest.