After former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s highly-publicized protest against the national anthem, ESPN has finally been forced to face the facts.
ESPN did a good job of pretending that American fans agreed with Kaepernick’s rebellious stand, but the sports news channel just admitted the truth – that Americans are not happy about his actions AT ALL, and it has shown itself in lost NFL viewers.
Kaepernick seems to have been attempting to capitalize on all the media attention he’s received by doing things like wearing socks with pig images on them during training as a shot at law enforcement. But he wasn’t alone in the end. His actions actually inspired a few other players – both NFL and college-level – to join in.
Viewership of NFL games plummeted during that time and the media assumed that fans were disinterested in the political turn the sport seemed to be taking.
ESPN wasn’t convinced, but they can no longer deny the facts. The news channel stated that statistics revealed that viewership was down at least 8% last season, so they did some digging to find out why.
According to ESPN, a new survey by J.D. Power has revealed that national anthem protests were the number one reason viewership declined. They polled 9,200 sports fans who attended at least one sporting event, asking if they watched fewer games last season and why.
“Twenty-six percent of those who watched fewer games last season said that national anthem protests, some of which were led by Colin Kaepernick, were the reason.”
The admission of the facts may be a hard pill to swallow for ESPN, but it’s not the first they’ve heard of displeased fans.
New York Giants owner John Mara told Sports Illustrated: “All my years being in the league, I never received more emotional mail from people than I did about that issue. If any of your players ever do that, we are never coming to another Giants game. It wasn’t one or two letters. It was a lot. It’s an emotional, emotional issue for a lot of people, moreso than any other issue I’ve run into.”
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Now Kaepernick has found himself a free agent, still trying to find a team that will take him on. He actually seemed pretty close to signing with Baltimore earlier this week to replace injured quarterback Joe Flacco, but instead the team went with little-known arena league quarterback, David Olson.
ESPN has been forced to admit that his political, unpatriotic stunts are costing the NFL fans and costing Kaepernick gainful employment. Kaepernick seems to be truly feeling the heat as well, finally conceding that he will stand for the anthem during the 2016-17 football season — yet he still remains unemployed by the NFL.