It was practically a given that President Donald Trump publicly criticizing NFL players who take the knee during the National Anthem would lead to a protest of the president himself.
It certainly shows that the NFL’s coaches don’t know their audience in allowing these protests. When San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the “taking a knee” protest last year, polls showed that 72 percent of Americans disagreed with the protest, calling it unpatriotic. And a poll held almost exactly a year later found that 72 percent still viewed the renewed surge in players taking a knee as unpatriotic.
So nothing changed there.
Players have forgotten that fans pay their salaries. Alienating half of your customers, regardless of politics, is just bad business.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) September 24, 2017
It should’ve been enough of a hint when Kaepernick found himself booed at home in liberal San Francisco upon starting his protest. And the booing hasn’t stopped against those taking a knee during the Anthem.
The hashtag #BoycottNFL is trending on Twitter, and it’s entirely dominated by those in support of the boycott (as opposed to those hijacking the hashtag to mock it).
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) September 27, 2017
— HERSHE (@HersheSquirt) September 28, 2017
And the boycott is hardly just a few people who are ticked off. According to the online ticket reseller TickPick, NFL ticket sales have taken a nosedive. There has been a 17.8 percent decrease in ticket orders, to be exact.
Now, the third week of the season has seen a decline in ticket sales in prior years, but not to this magnitude. Last year, ticket orders dropped 10.8 percent on Monday and Tuesday following the third week of games.
Some commentators are calling it the “Trump effect,” but I disagree. Without the majority of Americans being unified on this issue, we wouldn’t see such a negative reaction to the NFL’s protest.
At this rate, the League is going to suffer millions in revenue loss, and who wants to bet the players will cry “oppression” when they see cuts in their $10 million+ salaries?
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