Last month, we reported that San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick had made headlines when he refused to stand as the national anthem played before a game. Within 24 hours, fans were burning his jersey to let him know that what he did was wrong.
Kaepernick tried to defend his shameful show of disrespect by race-baiting.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” he said of his protest. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Since then, these protests have spread through the NFL like wildfire. Though millions of fans have demanded that the NFL punish Kaepernick and his fellow race-baiters, officials have refused to make any move against them. However, this attitude has now come back to bite the NFL in a big way.
According to The Wall Street Journal, ratings for the NFL are down 10% this season compared to last season. Networks have seen steeper declines for prime-time games on Sunday, Monday and Thursday. Football games have been a ratings stalwart for decades, so this decline has left executives and advertisers alike scrambling for answers about what could be going on.
Some have attributed this major decline to a counter-protest that was launched by fans who are furious that the NFL has refused to punish Kaepernick and his fellow race-baiters. James Olson, a Michigan football fan, is one of these people who believes the sports world should be a politics-free zone.
“I want to say to these guys ‘If you weren’t playing in the NFL, you would be working at McDonalds.’ I think people have had it,” Olson said. “Sports used to not be a stage for this, and now it is, so I’m turning it off. I refused to watch the Chicago-Philadelphia game because they were going to protest …You start to figure out you can get along without football, there are other things out there I can do.”
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