Pro football is back, and, normally, America would be celebrating.
This is the time of year when we have the inevitable debate about whether or not baseball is still the national pastime, or if pigskin on the gridiron has taken that spot. This is the time of year that we tailgate, and our hot dog intake increases tenfold.
But this year, something is different. Or, rather, this year is something different.
NCAA football appears to be hanging on for dear life after COVID-19 has begun spreading throughout college sports.
The NFL is lucky to be dealing well with the coronavirus issue, but they have another issue not their hands: Protesting athletes. Specifically, athletes who are protesting at times and in ways that Americans on the far right find offensive.
And, seeing as the far-right makes for a lot of football fans, it’s no surprise that the NFL is suffering financially.
The ratings for ESPN’s Monday Night Football are in, and they are not going to make the folks in Bristol very happy at all.
Against the backdrop of large-scale social justice demonstrations that included Black Lives Matter t-shirts, a giant social justice banner, an entire team standing for the “black national anthem,” and at least 20 players kneeling in protest during the actual national anthem, the Steelers-Giants MNF contest saw a 27% drop from last year.
And that’s not all:
The second game of the Monday Night Football double-header, saw another notable drop of 2.5 million viewers from last year’s mark.
Fans have repeatedly implored the league leadership to make an effort to remove the politics from the game, but to no avail.