Super Bowl LII viewership was down 7% from the previous year and fans have sent the National Football League a clear message—they want football, not politics.
Over the 2017 regular season, which was marled by the controversial national anthem protests, the NFL saw viewership decline nearly 10% from 2016. However, the league failed to heed warnings from fans, advertisers, and television producers and went so far as to institutionalize the kneeling protests as part of pregame ceremonies on national television.
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In November, in what appeared to be a settlement of sorts with protesting players, the NFL pledged $90 million in contributions to various “social justice causes” including avowed communist Van Jones’s advocacy organization and 501(c)4 activities. 2ndVote had previously uncovered financial ties between the NFL Players Association and George Soros funded anti-Trump “resistance” organizations.
Furthermore, the NFL denied an ad in the Super Bowl program placed by American Veterans (AMVETS) saying the request that players and fans “please stand” for the national anthem was “too political.” Apparently, funding left-wing activism and Super Bowl halftime shows like Beyonce’s homage to the Black Panthers do not count as “political statements” according the NFL.
Interestingly, the second half of Super Bowl LII saw a ratings increase of 8% as the game itself turned into a thriller that came down to the final seconds. And this should be the lesson for the NFL; fans want football, not politics.