NFL Ratings Sink, Due To National Anthem Protests

| September 15, 2020

NFL ratings sank on the first Sunday Night Football game of the season.

Sunday Night Football on NBC earned a 4.7 in early ratings in the key 18-49 age demographic and garnered 14.81 million viewers for the Los Angeles Rams vs. Dallas Cowboys game. The 2019 opener garnered 22.2 million viewers the Washington Examiner reported.

Compared with last year's kickoff, the early ratings fell by 28% in the key demographic, and the number of people watching fell by 23%. The ratings did not include West Coast numbers but are still a significant dip, according to Deadline.

Ratings are down 10% based on the early results of the Kansas City Chiefs' win over the Houston Texans last week, according to Deadline. Just over 16 million people tuned in to watch the Super Bowl champions at Arrowhead Stadium, a 16% drop compared with 2019's ratings and the lowest figure in 10 years.

The Los Angeles Rams were victorious over the Dallas Cowboys, 20-17. No fans were present in the stadium, but cutouts littered the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.

Dontari Poe, a defensive tackle for the Cowboys, became the first member of "America's team" to kneel after team owner Jerry Jones gave players the "green light" to protest during games.

“We definitely have the green light on all that but also just trying to find something that's going to make a boom," defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford said ahead of the game.

Several players for the Rams joined Poe in kneeling for "The Star Spangled Banner."

The NFL announced it will feature "It Takes All Of Us" and "End Racism" in the end zones of every stadium this season after the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Eric Trump said that football was "officially dead" after the Cowboys' protest announcement. President Trump has also been critical of NFL protests in the past, saying that those who kneel should be "suspended without pay" and saying recently that he won't tune into professional sports games if players kneel.

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