Legendary broadcaster Al Michaels thinks Donald Trump and national anthem protests are the reason the NFL’s ratings have taken such a hit.
Philly.com reported the following from an interview with Michaels:
“Once the president made those remarks in Alabama, at that particular point it was like throwing a match into a gas tank,” Michaels said. “During the off-season, both sides just have to sit down and figure out a way to make this a situation where it doesn’t overwhelm the conversation about the NFL.”
Michaels cited players’ protests against racial injustice during the national anthem as one of a myriad reasons ratings might be down.
Trump’s comments Michaels is referring to were said during a rally in Huntsville, Alabama. The President told the crowd, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!'” Massive protests across the league followed his comments.
There’s obviously a variety of reasons why NFL ratings are in sort of a free fall right now. Viewership is down 7.5 percent from a year ago across the league, and there doesn’t seem to be a quick turnaround on the horizon.
It’s important not to overlook the fact that some people are simply cord-cutting, but there are others who have absolutely stopped watching because of the protests. I hear from these people all the time. People want to tune in to watch football. They don’t tune in so they can be lectured by millionaire athletes about oppression.