For years, the world of sports had to deal with one undeniable truth. While baseball claimed to be America’s pastime, football was king. In a matter of a few decades, the NFL rose to become not only America’s most popular sport, but the most profitable professional sports league in the world. For a while, it seemed like nothing could topple the extreme growth of the NFL.
Of course, sometimes things can change in a hurry. For the undisputed king of the sports world, the last year has been a huge problem. What started as a protest by a single player manifested into a major controversy. As NFL players continued to disrespect the flag and the anthem, bad news started rolling in. Not only were ratings down, but advertisers started to bail on the league. What once seemed like in impenetrable fortress was quickly starting to fall.
If you thought the fall from grace was over for the league, think again. A shocking new poll confirms that the NFL’s popularity is in free fall, while delivering what is possibly the worst news yet.
From the Washington Examiner:
Over just one month of player, coach, and owner protests of the flag and National Anthem, the National Football League has gone from America’s sport to the least liked of top professional and college sports, according to a new poll.
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.
Just like that, the NFL lost it’s claim to American sports immortality. In just a month, the NFL went from the most popular to the least popular league in the country.
Despite the shocking decline, NFL players show no signs of letting up on the protests. While claiming to want to put an end to social injustice, they made only succeed in putting an end to the profitability of their own league.
[Note: This post was authored by Michael Lee. Follow him on Twitter @UAMichaelLee]