NBC announced early last week that they plan to televise players who kneel for the national anthem during the Super Bowl.
However, ones small problem: No regular NFL kneeler is still playing in the postseason.
According to a report by The Washington Times, none of the teams that had active national anthem protesters made it to the post season. According to the Times:
By the end of the regular season, only five teams featured at least one player regularly sitting or kneeling on the sidelines for the anthem: the Seattle Seahawks, the San Francisco 49ers, the Miami Dolphins, the New York Giants and the Oakland Raiders.
None of those franchises made the playoffs, even though four of the five did so in the previous season, leading to speculation about whether the take-a-knee protests wound up dragging down team performance along with TV ratings.
Multiple sports psychologists told the Times that the kneelers most likely were “detrimental to team cohesiveness” and a “distraction” to their success.
At the end of the NFL regular season, only 20 players were still actively protesting the anthem. The protests punctuated one of the lowest rated NFL seasons in history, with the ratings dropping by 9.7 percent and game attendance declining as well.
Studies attribute the poor fan engagement to the anthem protests.
The NFL has considered official rules banning protesting the anthem on the field for next season.