Results & Analysis: For many, it is not Colin Kaepernick’s protest, but the National Football League (NFL) reaction or lack thereof that reduced audience loyalty according to a new survey.
Remington Research Group conducted a national public opinion survey regarding the NFL on topic December 11th through December 12th and 1,945 respondents participated.
According to the data, a vast majority of Americans, 64%, do not believe professional football players like Colin Kaepernick should use the NFL as a stage for their political views, with only 22% believing they should and 15% unsure.
Of the respondents who considered themselves “a fan of the NFL at any point in the past five years,” 63% say they have watched less football this year than previous years while 37% say they have watched more.
Republicans and Non-Partisans have started watching less football at a higher rate than Democrats, as 61% of Republicans say they have watched less football this year compared to 55% of Democrats. Almost three quarters, 73%, of Non-Partisans reported they have watched less football this year compared to the past.
Players like Colin Kaepernick using the NFL as a stage for their political views was the leading cause of why those respondents have watched less football. Twenty-nine percent of NFL fans who have watched less football this year say it is because of players using the NFL as a political stage; 13% say there are too many games during the week; 6% say games last too long; 5% say new rules reduce physical contact; 3% say the pace of play is too slow; 27% say something else; and 18% were unsure why they have watched less football.
Seventy-seven percent of Republicans and 65% of Non-Partisans believe players should not use the NFL as a stage to express their political views. Meanwhile, 33% of Democrat respondents think players should use the NFL as a political stage while 49% believe they should not.
The increase in concussions to football players has not had much of an effect on viewership. Only 18% of respondents say the increase in concussions has led to them watching less football. Seventy-eight percent said concussions made no difference in how much football they watch and 4% say it has led to them watching more.
“It’s clear in the data that political issues are affecting the NFL’s viewership,” said Titus Bond, Director of Remington Research Group, “Especially amongst Republicans and Non-Partisans. It’s still a split issue amongst Democrats, but Republicans soundly reject the idea of football players using the NFL as a stage for their political views.”
Bond added, “Almost two-thirds of NFL fans are watching less football this year than they have in the past and Colin Kaepernick and other players using the NFL as a stage to express their political stances are the leading reason why.”
This writer/publisher is a twice nationally awarded First Amendment Advocate and I fully support Colin Kaepernick’s First Amendment Rights to be stupid in public in whatever way he would select to illustrate lack of knowledge in history and deeply twisted ideological loyalties. He may hate America while earning millions playing any game(s) he may like. It’s a free country.
However, many enjoy watching sports because it is one of the few remaining public activities where merit mostly wins. Not political correctness, but merit. Not entitlement. Not emotional feelings of imagined or real offense, but merit under specific rules applicable to all – outcome decided by contest on a level field.
It is the failure of the NFL to address the core of Kaepernick’s complaint that damns them to declining viewership. Is America a racist country? I would debate the entire body of historic and current facts which I believe clearly show it is not. I will assert and defend in public that America has done more than any other nation in history to advance human rights, equality, free enterprise, individual freedom and world peace. Communists, apparently like Kaepernick, disagree, but ok fine, bring the cockroaches to light.
Watching current NFL games brings me a bit of heartache, again, not for Kaepernick, but for the entire NFL. They failed to address thus show support for ignorant protest.
The saddest part are the many NFL players, coaches, management and others engaged and supportive of the professional game who love America specifically for the equal opportunity provided and blessings of freedom for all.
Just like in football, Americans on every field should win by merit. However, truth and reason can only win after taking the field to battle lies and distortions. The failure of the NFL is a failure of courage, betrayal of reason, ignorance of historical fact and the abandonment of merit based contest.
As for my house, we now watch college ball.