News and Commentary

33% Of NFL Fans ‘Purposely Stopped Watching’ This Season; Playoff Ratings Plunge

Lately, a lot of people are saying, “No, we are not ready for some football.”

Ratings have been dropping throughout this 2017 NFL season, which has been lackluster at best. Players have embarrassed themselves by protesting during the national anthem (again, we respect their right to protest whatever they want, just do it off the field).

Now a new survey finds 33% of NFL fans have totally boycotted the league this year, according to a poll by SurveyMonkey and Ozy Media, shared first with Yahoo Finance. But not all are incensed about the protest, started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. And nearly a third said they did so “in support of Donald Trump.”

The survey then asked the football fans: “Did you purposely stop watching or attending NFL games this season for any reason?” 33% of respondents said yes.

That group, which the survey labeled as “boycotting,” was asked why, and was given multiple options. Note: Respondents were allowed to select multiple answers; they were not asked which was the biggest factor, just which factors contributed.

They answered as follows: 32% said they stopped watching or attending NFL games “in support of Donald Trump”; 22% said “in solidarity with players kneeling”; 13% said “no interest in the teams playing”; 12% said “in support of Colin Kaepernick”; and 11% said “news about traumatic brain injuries among players.” Another 8% said “games are boring.” 46% chose “some other reason.”

The results also show an interesting difference between male and female respondents: more men said they turned away from the NFL in support of Trump (35% to 25%), while more women said they did it in support of the players kneeling (30% to 17%) or in support of Kaepernick (17% to 10%).

The survey, conducted from Dec. 8-11, 2017, polled a national sample of 1,726 adults ages 18 and up. It found that 1,233 of those people identified as football fans, Yahoo reported.

Right after the renewed NFL protests began in September, Trump said NFL team owners should fire NFL players who kneel during the anthem. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b**** off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!’” Trump said on Twitter.

He has also taken credit for the TV ratings’ plunge. “NFL ratings are down massively… The number one reason happens to be that they like watching what’s happening with yours truly.”

He also said:

Meanwhile, Sports Illustrated reported that last weekend’s playoff games produced dismal numbers.

The NFL had a disastrous weekend when it came to ratings. Numbers have been down all season and it was more of the same for the wild-card games. The biggest surprise was that the best game (Panthers-Falcons) had the biggest decrease year over year. Yes, markets were a big factor, but that was a competitive and entertaining game. Here’s the breakdown:

Titans-Chiefs (14.7) was down 11 percent versus last year’s Raiders-Texans game.

Falcons-Rams (14.9) was down 10 percent versus last year’s Lions-Seahawks game.

Bills-Jaguars (17.2) was down 10 percent versus last year’s Dolphins-Steelers game.

Panthers-Saints (20.4) was down 21 percent versus last year’s Giants-Packers game.

The moral of the story: Don’t mess with Trump. Seriously, when will people learn that one? We’re talking to you, Sloppy Steve.