Fans didn’t stay away from watching the NFL after all.

Followers didn’t avoid watching the NFL in any case.
Illustration: Getty/Shutterstock

You needed to be there – 2016, 2017, and 2018, I imply.

In a time during which Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid have been main a rising motion that led to gamers, coaches, and even some group house owners taking a knee within the identify of racism and police brutality – followers ran to social media and screamed from the stands about how they might endlessly shun/boycott the NFL due to the gamers’ demonstration or on account of how Kaepernick and Reid have been being blackballed.

It was all a lie.

In response to Sports Business Journal, NFL video games made up 75 of the 100 most-watched TV packages final yr, as no different professional sports activities league in America cracked the highest 100.

The Tremendous Bowl, NFC Championship Sport, AFC Championship Sport, Raiders/Cowboys on Thanksgiving, and Buccaneers/Saints NFC divisional sport made up the Prime 5 most-watched packages of 2021. The opposite sports activities broadcasts that made the Prime 100 have been 11 occasions from the Summer time Olympics, seven faculty soccer video games, and two faculty basketball video games. The NBA, MLB, and NHL didn’t get invitations.

A lot for that “rankings dip” that Kaepernick brought about.

“We did analysis and it was comparatively proprietary analysis, to be trustworthy with you,” CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus said in 2017 in regards to the impact that kneeling had on rankings. “However I believe if you happen to take a look at a number of the the reason why NFL viewership was down final yr, [kneeling] is a purpose that’s talked about by a good quantity of viewers. It’s one thing they don’t discover engaging or they don’t discover compelling in protection of the soccer sport. How massive an element it was? I don’t actually know. However it was one of many elements that I believe maybe led to the slight lower in rankings final yr.”

However but, McManus was sensible sufficient to know that the “causes” why some weren’t tuning in wouldn’t final.

“Hear, I do suppose the rankings will come again. However it’s important to take a look at this comparatively talking: The NFL rankings are nonetheless by far and away probably the most engaging property in all of tv by an enormous margin. The actual fact the rankings have been down marginally are of concern, however no person is panicking and saying that the NFL is slipping by way of its recognition or by way of its dominance, comparatively talking to what else is on tv.”

Soccer is as American as racism and voter suppression. It’s why watching the Tremendous Bowl is the one factor that this nation does in unison. And when a sport has a grip like that on a rustic, persons are going to all the time tune in regardless of if gamers are kneeling or standing for a racist tune earlier than kickoff.


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