Very early this morning, President Donald Trump sent a tweet calling for Congress to end the tax exempt status NFL teams enjoy if players continue to kneel during the national anthem.
Trump is not the only person who feels this way, per Pensacola News Journal:
Rep. Matt Gaetz is calling on Congress to end the tax-exempt status of the NFL’s business office in the wake of controversy over players and team owners kneeling during the national anthem.
Gaetz, Northwest Florida’s Republican congressman, took to the floor of the House of Representatives on Tuesday and said players have a constitutional right to free speech, but Americans shouldn’t subsidize a sport whose players act unpatriotically.
“When people kneel during our national anthem, they don’t simply indict the issue with which they have some particular grievance,” said Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach. “They indict our country, our service members, our first-responders, our founding fathers and the principles that made this country great.”
NFL ratings are down bigly this season, per Daily Caller:
“Sunday Night Football” suffered again in the ratings battle, despite the exciting game Sunday night between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans.
NBC and the National Football League scored a 10.6/18 in metered market households in the match that saw the Chiefs beat the Texans 42-34 at NRG Stadium in Texas, according to Deadline Monday.
It makes sense that Trump is winning the national debate for one simple reason: people don’t want to see their flag disrespected. That’s the bottom line, and it doesn’t get any simpler.
The NFL is now the least liked sport, as popularity is down 31% among core fans, per Washington Examiner:
From the end of August to the end of September, the favorable ratings for the NFL have dropped from 57 percent to 44 percent, and it has the highest unfavorable rating – 40 percent – of any big sport, according to the Winston Group survey provided exclusively to Secrets.
Worse for football, which was already seeing lower TV ratings and empty stadium seats, the month of protests and complaints about them from President Trump drove core fans, men 34-54, away, the most significant indicator that NFL brass aren’t in touch with their base.
The Winston Poll from the Washington-based Winston Group found that the attitude of those fans went from an August rating of 73 percent favorable and 19 percent unfavorable to 42 percent favorable and 47 percent unfavorable, a remarkable turn against the sport.
According to Yahoo, NFL advertisers are worried:
Four weeks into the current NFL season, television ratings are down nearly 10% overall compared to the first four weeks of last season. Sunday’s games in Week 4, according to Nielsen, had the smallest audience of any Sunday so far: an average 14.2 million viewers.
Add that ratings dip to the ongoing controversy around player protests, and you might reasonably wonder how official NFL sponsors, as well as brands that buy advertising during NFL games, feel right now about the league.
The answer: “They’re nervous,” says Brian Cristiano, CEO of ad agency Bold Worldwide. “Everyone is looking at the numbers, they’re looking at the ratings… they’re nervous. They’re like, ‘Are we overpaying? What are we going to do? Can we have makeups? How else are we going to get this exposure back?’”
Fox’s “Game of the Week” this past Sunday between the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers actually performed surprisingly well, per Pro Football Talk:
The game drew a 15.0 overnight rating, a big increase from the late afternoon national game in Week Five of the 2016 season. Last year’s comparable Week Five late afternoon game, Bengals-Cowboys on CBS, drew a 13.1 overnight rating, according to Austin Karp of Sports Business Daily.
That 15.0 overnight rating is one of the best ratings in the NFL this season, although it doesn’t quite match the 16.1 for Cowboys-Broncos in Week Two. The Cowboys are the NFL’s best TV draw.