[1/10/17] The NFL suffered from declining television ratings for the first time in decades this fall.
San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick ignited a national debate in August when he refused to stand during the national anthem at a home preseason game. Kaepernick was blasted for the decision, and further angered many when he made some disparaging comments about America’s law enforcement and wore socks depicting police as pigs.
Hundreds of thousands promised to boycott the NFL due to Kaepernick’s protest, but many in the media continued to suggest that it was the presidential campaign that hurt ratings.
While ratings made a rebound following the 2016 presidential election, the final numbers show a significant dip in ratings from last year. Viewership of NFL games during the fall election were down 14 percent from the same time last year, with an average of 15.5 million viewers per game.