NFL ratings have seen a significant drop in the past few months in comparison with previous seasons and the numbers are continuing to decline. A new survey by Yahoo Sports and YouGov confirmed what many people believed as the reason for the change — national anthem protests.
The survey included 1,136 Americans “who identified themselves as NFL fans” and 29 percent said they are watching fewer games this season. The fans cited several reasons why they are watching less NFL play, but the primary reason was the ongoing protests started by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Other respondents cited a loss in interest, lack of opportunity to watch and the presidential election as reasons for watching less football this year. (RELATED: Colin Kaepernick Gets Obliterated In First NFL Start Of The Season)
Forty percent of the group that claimed they’re “watching less NFL” said it was because of the protests. That 40 percent represents 12 percent of all NFL fans, according to Yahoo.
Colin Kaepernick began protesting alleged racial injustice and police violence during the pre-season by sitting during the presentation of the American flag and the singing of the national anthem.
The San Francisco quarterback eventually switched his sitting protest to a kneel after the initial backlash for his disrespect to America. Many players across the NFL have joined Kaepernick who continues to kneel before each game.
Kaepernick got his first start of the season on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. He led the 49ers to a 45-16 loss in which he threw only one touchdown.