NFL can’t hide America’s rejection of national anthem protests, half-empty stadiums are ‘new normal’

There may be a new trend in the NFL, other than millionaire players refusing to stand for the national anthem.

As more and more fans become disgruntled, there appears to be a growing number of empty seats in NFL stadiums on Sundays.

At least, according to photos being posted in social media during live games.

The Jacksonville Jaguars put themselves at the forefront of the kneeling controversy when the team opted to disrespect the national anthem while on foreign soil, doing so at a game played last month at Wembley Stadium in London, England.

Jacksonville owner Shad Khan called President Donald Trump the “great divider” last week at a Chicago conference — the Pakistani-American billionaire also called fellow team owners racists.

“You’ve got a bunch of 85-year-old guys who don’t think they’re racist, but they are racist,” Khan said, according to Crain’s Chicago Business.

Getty Baltimore Ravens v Jacksonville Jaguars
(Photo by Mitchell Gunn/Getty Images)

It’s was enough to prompt a now-former Jaguars fans to go to extraordinary “heights” to boycott both the team and the NFL.

Photos of the Jacksonville game shared online Sunday may indicate how effective these efforts are:

As for the Jacksonville game, adding to hometown crowd’s woes, the opposing team ran back the opening kickoff Sunday 103 yards for a touchdown.

TV ratings are also taking a beating.

Nielson data obtained by Sporting News shows the NFL’s average TV audience through Week 5 of the 2017 season dropped 7 percent vs. the same period of the 2016 season.

“Worse for the league, the average game audiences are down 18 percent compared to the first five weeks of the 2015 season,” Sporting News reported.

Even the Dallas Cowboys, who all but single-handedly saved the NFL last year, are seeing a drop in ratings — which may explain why team owner Jerry Jones recently declared that he will not tolerate players kneeling during the national anthem.

Here’s a sampling of more empty seats Sunday from around the country, shared by social media users:

Conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza reminded Commissioner Roger Goodell, who has been accommodating of players disrespecting the national anthem, of the price of embracing left-wing politics.

‘Be American’: NFL boycott is taken to whole new level with man’s sky high message to protesters

“How’s it going with those protests @NFL? This should teach you next time what the Left has to offer you,” D’Souza tweeted.

But the tweet of the week belongs to social media user Christopher Greene, who stated: “The Only Stadium that Should be Full on Sunday is the Stadium of God. Boycott @NFL I only Kneel for Jesus…”

Tom Tillison


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