The National Football League continues to suffer serious rating problems following weeks of player protests during the national anthem, with ratings for their flagship Thursday Night Football match-up down yet again following last week’s record lows.
According to Deadline Hollywood, this week’s Thursday night game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Carolina Panthers continued the league’s ratings disaster, down at least 5% from just a week ago and down nearly 10% from this time last season.
More troubling for the NFL was CBS decision to not-air the performance of the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ during the pre-game ceremonies, instead cutting to the game as players rushed the field.
“Perhaps there was some of the once usual NFL audience who choose not to watch at all. Last night’s game was down 5% from last week’s [game] where all the players stood during the national anthem in part in tribute to the victims of the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas just days before,” says Deadline.
The NFL is struggling to ease tensions with furious fans over their professional athletes’ months-long protest of the national anthem. As ratings plummet, owners and officials are beginning to bar their players from “taking a knee” before the game. This week, just two teams –the Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins- banned their athletes from “disrespecting” the anthem and the flag.