Explaining the NFL ratings drop

Carson Field, Sports Editor

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The NFL has lost its popularity.

This season, the NFL has seen a sharp decline in its ratings, as the viewership has dropped about 10 percent from last season. With the exception of last week’s New England-Seattle (22.5 million viewers) and Dallas-Pittsburgh games (28.9 million viewers), the games have struggled to draw the attention of fans.

Many people blame the Election for this bizarre drop. Others blame penalties and the increased sensitivity of the referees.

The most likely explanation for the decline is the mixing of politics in football.

The NFL began to become political this preseason when 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided to sit out the national anthem. Kaepernick noted the oppression of colored people as his motive for sitting out the anthem.

Kaepernick began to influence other players’ decisions, such as Marcus Peters, Kenny Stills, Martellus Bennett and more, creating a somewhat political atmosphere in the NFL.

Many viewers lost interest in the NFL when it became political. One reason sports attract many fans is because they are a break from the political world. The NFL has slowly become CNN, which has made fans turn off their TVs or cut their cable as a whole.

Another key block of previous viewers the protests has cut off is conservatives. Focusing in on the #BlackLivesMatter movement, one typically supported by liberals, rather than concentrating on performance has alienated a large, Republican group of NFL fans who are sick of seeing their country disrespected by “oppressed athletes.”

A more concentrated sect of the Republican viewers who have left are veterans. Those who served and fought for their country likely do not want to see their country’s flag disrespected by a football player who makes millions.

Finally, the NFL has lost viewers likely because of the fact that the leader of the anthem protests, Kaepernick, is not an oppressed person, but a hypocrite.

Kaepernick’s claim of being oppressed is absolute bogus. He was adopted and raised by a rich, white family, and the quarterback does not currently live a rough life. He makes 19 million a year to sit on the bench for half of the season. Quick, stop this oppression!

I am not saying that there aren’t people of color who are being horribly oppressed. Because there absolutely are. But many viewers don’t see the national anthem, a song representing the pride in the United States of America, as the proper protest platform.

Many people dispute my claim of the protests hurting the NFL’s viewership, arguing that the drop in ratings is due to Election season, but this is not the case. If this were the case, not only NFL ratings would have dropped, but college football ratings would have seen a sharp decline.

College football has thrived this season. It has dominated Saturday primetime during the whole season, even in election week.

It will be interesting if the ratings remain slumped after the election. I predict they will.