A Facebook group is calling for people to not watch or listen to NFL games on Veterans Day in a counterprotest to the players’ national anthem demonstrations.
How many are supporting this group?
The “Boycott the NFL” Facebook page has been “liked” by nearly 120,000, and is being followed by more than 122,000 people. The open community group simply explains, “Until millionaire football players stop protesting the National Anthem of the United States, we’ll be here.”
“We love football, but we love our flag more,” it concludes.
What day is the counterprotest planned?
The group wants members to not watch or listen to any NFL games on Nov. 12 and 13 in deference to Veterans Day. This would affect all Sunday NFL games and the Monday Night Football game.
What is the controversy?
Those players protesting during the national anthem by taking a knee, or sitting, or other acts, say that they are not intending to disrespect the country or the military or law enforcement, but simply want to raise awareness about what they say is unequal treatment by law enforcement against minorities.
Those opposed to the player protests say that the demonstrations are clearly meant to denigrate the country and the sacrifice that many military members have made to secure the safety of the nation and its citizens.
Has the protest hurt the NFL already?
There are conflicting reports. While some point to lower ratings from 2015 to 2016, and some indicators of lower ratings in the 2017 season, others say these are normal fluctuations, or could reflect a saturation of the brand in the sports market.
For instance, Sunday Night Football brought in ratings that were 3 percent lower than the week previous. But it was also 4 percent higher than the same week last year. Many news outlets are cherry-picking ratings in order to feed a political agenda, but overall, it’s difficult to draw a conclusion so far about the effect of NFL player protests on its ratings.