President Donald Trump Wins the National Anthem Debate

Super Bowl ratings were down big-time — and with no kneelers at the big game, it's clear who's triumphed in this cultural fight

After a controversial season that included drops in both ticket sales and television ratings, the NFL seemed committed to keeping politics off the field at Sunday night’s Super Bowl.

There were no national anthem kneelers, celebrities kept their focus on their performances — and Medal of Honor recipients were even invited onto the field to start the big game.

The weeding out of national anthem kneelers and the dying down of the debate altogether prove President Donald Trump has officially won what was once a vicious cultural battle over whether the NFL should force protesting athletes to stand for the national anthem.

Combine those facts with the recent announcement about XFL — a new football league from WWE CEO Vince McMahon in which players will reportedly be forced to stand for the national anthem — and it seems the NFL has mostly gotten the message.

The football season won’t return until August. With the last game bereft of kneelers and the impending introduction of the XFL, the president walks away from this rubble of a debate the clear winner.

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The Super Bowl ratings this year were also the lowest in eight years.

While there could be a variety of reasons for the slip — including the growing number of available platforms on which to watch the game — there’s no denying that the widespread protests over anthem kneelers had an impact on this game’s ratings.

The controversial sports league would be wise to introduce, finally, a regulation forcing players to stand.

Even if kneelers appear when football starts up again in August, the debate will be irrelevant at that point. And the American people have made clear how they feel, through the dipping ratings and lowered ticket sales for the NFL this season.

The controversial sports league would be wise to introduce, finally, a regulation forcing players to stand at this point, so they can avoid more embarrassing ratings and dissolve political controversy in their next season.

PopZette editor Zachary Leeman can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter