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The NFL Just Paid an Enormous Price for Allowing Players to Kneel During the Anthem

Ratings for sports league continue to fall; many, including Trump, believe it's due to its tolerance for protests

NFL ratings took a pretty sizable hit last season — and this season looks to be no different.

Early reports indicate that “Monday Night Football” has hit an historic low.

This tweet is one example.

“ESPN’s ‘Monday Night Football’ overnights: 7.5 rating for Jets-Lions in early window. 7.0 rating for Rams-Raiders late. Tough comp to 2017 with Hurricane Irma. However, last night is pretty low historically for ‘MNF’ opening doubleheader,” reported Austin Karp, assistant managing editor at SportsBusiness Daily, on Twitter.

He continued, “Jets-Lions is lowest early window ‘MNF’ opener in at least a dozen years. Blowouts never good. Rams-Raiders is flat compared to Chargers-Broncos last year in late window.”

The late game between the Rams and Raiders didn’t dip as much as the early game, but it’s important to note that last year’s game ratings were affected by Hurricane Irma.

The Thursday night game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Philadelphia Eagles, who walked away with the Super Bowl trophy earlier in the year, saw an 8 percent dip compared to the same week’s game last year.

President Donald Trump, long a critic of the NFL and its tolerance of national anthem kneeling from players, has already taken to Twitter to point out what many Americans, at least partly, believe: Ratings are down because people are sick and tired of players who kneel, raise a fist, or otherwise protest.

“Wow, NFL first game ratings are way down over an already really bad last year comparison. Viewership declined 13%, the lowest in over a decade. If the players stood proudly for our Flag and Anthem, and it is all shown on broadcast, maybe ratings could come back? Otherwise worse!” tweeted President Trump over the weekend.

He then tweeted out a picture showing a boy in a wheelchair attempting to stand for the American flag.

“This little boy is attempting to stand for the national anthem without the use of his legs … if he can stand, so can you,” reads the caption on the picture.

Trump accompanied the picture with his own thoughts saying, “Stand for the national anthem!”

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback and new Nike spokesman Colin Kaepernick — who originated the controversial national anthem kneeling — has been celebrating the continuing political protests on the football field.